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Category Archives: Let’s Talk And Cook Food!

I’ll teach you how to start cooking with just the basics, from basic items you will need to start with to making sauces, tempering chocolate, creating holiday meals, entertaining.., etc….

Don’t let your kitchen intimidate you, its very easy.

Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream With Candied Orange Peel

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Do you remember having orange creamsicle ice cream bar during the summer. It was an orange popsicle on the outside with a creamy ice cream center and those flavors just married again and again.

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Well I got a wonderful easy version of the orange creamsicle that is very easy to make using only six ingredients, plus you wont need an ice cream maker to make this.

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Now I’ll admit when I made this ice cream I went a little over the top by making candied orange rinds as a garnish. If you want to make them its an added treat both visually and taste wise and really not hard to do at all, but if you don’t have the time its okay to omit this step completely, however candied orange rinds taste better than candy orange wedges and the bonus; you control the amount of sugar versus candy loaded with lots of it.

Candy orange wedges are loaded with sugar, corn syrup and even more sugar...

Candy orange wedges are loaded with sugar, corn syrup and even more sugar…

If you do not know how to segment an orange we will be doing that too. There really is no other way to make this ice cream pop without segmenting, well unless you peel the orange old school and you’re a fan of the bitter white pith and skin. In other words if you want real fresh orange flavor and you really want to push this ice cream over the top, then use some of the zest too.

So grab the kids or surprise them with this smooth citrus delight!!

Ingredients For Ice Cream

1 3/4 cup Coconut milk, full fat
4 medium Oranges, zest and segmented
4 tbsp Sugar or sweetener (honey, powdered sugar, maple syrup)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract (optional)
8 oz heavy whipping cream (optional)
1-2 tsp orange zest

Directions:

Zest one of the oranges and set zest aside.

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Peel and segment oranges.

 

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Rest the orange on your cutting board with the stem end pointing to the left or the right. Carefully slice off about 1/2 inch from the stem end. Repeat with other side.

Note: Cut deep enough so that you expose the bright orange flesh.

Using even downward strokes, slice the skin away from the flesh and discard.Make sure you take your time, and start at the top and slice downward as you work your way down the orange.

Using even downward strokes, slice the skin away from the flesh and discard.

 

Make sure you take your time, and start at the top and slice downward as you work your way down the orange.

Make sure you take your time, and start at the top and slice downward as you work your way down the orange.

Cut between the membranes to segment the orange.

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This will release the orange segment onto your knife.

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You can set them aside on a plate or

bowl.

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Lay flat on a sheet tray lined with wax paper or parchment paper and freeze until hardened.
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In a blender or food processor, add coconut milk and frozen orange sections.

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Add the sweetener of your choice along with vanilla and orange extract.

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Blend until smooth.

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Using a hand mixer on high-speed, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form and pour into a medium freezer proof bowl.

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Fold in orange mixture with whipped cream until well incorporated

Freeze until solid.

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When ready to serve, let it sit out for a few minutes to make it easier to scoop.
Garnish with some candied orange peel and orange zest!

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Enjoy!

Candied Orange Peel

Ingredients:

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4 orange peels, cut into 1/4 inch strips

Now using a similar cutting technique your going to clean up the orange peels by removing the white pith.

Now using a similar cutting technique your going to clean up the orange peels by removing the white pith.

Make sure you are slicing away from you

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Leaving you just the top layer of the orange.

1 cups white sugar
1/2 cup water

Using a large sauce pan, bring water to a boil over high heat.

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Place cut up orange peel in large saucepan and boil for 20 minutes, drain and set aside.

In medium saucepan, combine sugar and 1/2 cup water, and orange peel

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Bring to a boil and cook until mixture reaches what is called a thread stage or 230 degrees F (108 degrees C)

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Use candy thermometer, or you can test by dropping a small amount of sugar liquid in cold water and it forms a soft thread.

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Stir in peel, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain.

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Roll peel pieces, a few at a time, in remaining sugar.

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Let dry on wire rack several hours. Store in airtight container.

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Garnish your homemade orange creamsicle and impress everyone!!!

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Cooking A Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet

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Looking for that restaurant quality steak? You know, the rib-eye or sirloin steak that has the gorgeous caramel colored sear and juicy taste that takes you on an immediate trip back to your favorite Steakhouse, but it is too cold to light up the grill or too far of a drive. Did you know cooking a steak using a cast iron skillet is actually easier than cleaning and lighting up your grill outside, and produces a juicer steak using less than five ingredients and four kitchen items.

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To get started on the quest for the perfect home cooked steak, you will need a smoking hot cast iron skillet. I mean a smoking hot skillet, with no surface oil. All the oil you need will be rubbed into the surface of the steak, before you season it.

How to tell if the skillet is screaming hot, well just test it with a single drop of water on it. If you see a sizzle and hear popping sounds your good to go. Make sure you have everything ready as you won’t get a chance to stop once you get started.

 

Ingredients:

Steak
Salt & Pepper
High burning oil, like vegetable or peanut

Cast Iron skillet
Long metal tongs
Heavy duty or Thick oven mitts
Meat Thermometer, Optional

popular cuts

Directions:

45 minutes before you start take steak out of fridge, trim any excess fat(optional) rub about 1/2 tsp oil on each side of meat and season with salt & pepper. Place on platter and cover with paper towel.

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees 10 minutes before you start. Put into oven on center rack your clean & dry cast iron skillet to heat up with oven.

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Using oven mitts take cast iron skillet out of oven and place on stove top burner and turn heat to high. This step is optional and it adds just a little more flavor to the steak, but I like to add about a tablespoon of unsalted butter to skillet. Once butter hits surface of skillet you should hear an immediate sizzle. Place steak on skillet and on high heat sear for 2 minutes on each side, depending on thickness and cut of beef.

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For this post I am searing a thick rib-eye steak with minimal fat marbling, and about an inch in height.

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Once both sides of the steak have been seared move hot skillet from the stove top to the oven and close the door for 3-5 minutes each side, depending on thickness, cut of beef and wellness of steak.

your-steak

Now if you love a medium rare steak then you will want to cook each side to the 2 1/2 minute mark each side. If you prefer your steak cooked to medium, then you will want to cook it a little over 3 minutes. At the 2 1/2 minute mark, you will pull the pan out of the oven, then turn the steak over, and then put it back in the oven and cook for 2 1/2 more minutes.

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Until you are a novice at cooking steak don’t feel awkward using a meat thermometer, it’s a lot better than serving an over cooked steak or worse and under cook one.

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Using a meat thermometer push through the center of the steak to the center of the meat to get as correct reading as possible. Once your steak is prepared to your liking remove from skillet place on a clean platter and cover loosely with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Most steaks are preferred from rare to medium rare. Just my opinion but medium-well to well done leaves the steak dry and tough as there is no juice left inside to redistribute while resting.

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Each cut of steak has a slightly different cooking temperature for rare to well done and I included a basic chart for you to refer to.

red meat chart

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Where Is Your Favorite Cut of Meat Taken From?

I’ve always been fascinated with the art of butchery, and when I was a child the grocery stores and corner markets had more butchers and a good 90% of various proteins behind the counter. We’d take a number or rang the bell sitting on the counter. The butcher would then take our order, or my mom […]

How to grill corn on the cob

Grilled corn on the cob; it’s not just a summer staple. It’s a summers delight!

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How many people out there in the land of the blogsphere do not know, or are unsure of how to grill corn on the cob? In my lifetime I’ve seen many variations on how to grill corn on the cob, and the unique toppings that go with this awesome summer staple  The truth of it is that there is no “correct or incorrect” method on grilling corn on the cob. What I will do is share my method with you, courtesy of Chef Bobby Flay.

First off and most important is to wash those “ears” of corn, and this is how I do that.

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I remove all the hairs and husk except the last 3-5 layers and rinse in cold water

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Once I have cleaned all the corn I put the corn in a large stock/tamales steamer pot and fill with water barely covering the ears of corn.

You want to make sure to leave just a few layers of husk, to cover the ears and create a steam while the corn is grilling.

You want to make sure to leave just a few layers of husk, to cover the ears and create a steam while the corn is grilling.

You want the corn completely emerged in water and soaking at least 20 minutes before you grill.

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By soaking the corn a head of time and placing wet corn on the grill creates steam from the wet husk, steaming the corn and creating a smoke flavor from charring the corn as well

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Don’t over crowd the grill when placing the ears of corn on it, if there is too many it will take longer, then if you had just split the ears into batches.

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Close lid to grill for five minutes, then check corn and rotate so all sides cook evenly. Repeat these steps till the corn is cooked.

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There are many variations for dressing “corn on the cob” today, so get creative.

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Here are a few popular choices.

Mexican style corn on the cob, can be dressed with any of the following ingredients, fresh lime juice, sour cream to mayonnaise, chopped cilantro, topped with Cotija cheese, Queso Fresco, Monterey Jack and sprinkled with ground cumin and/or paprika,

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Truffles & corn? Yep, I’ve read corn on the cob has been dressed with unsalted butter and truffle salt, Parmesan cheese.

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truffle.salt

Hey don’t toss out and remaining BBQ sauce, brush a little on an ear of corn and enjoy the smoky and sweet flavors

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Compound or Herb butter is basically a method of using room temperature butter and adding a lot of fresh chopped herbs, and lemon or lime zest and juice to your butter.

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Blend until well incorporated and spread it all over your ear of corn, and enjoy! 

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The Basics of Outdoor Grilling

Now that summer is off and running, it’s time to go outside and get your grill on.

What ?

You have never grilled or lit a barbecue?

No worries it’s not that bad or complicated. Despite what some experts may say, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Both have pros and cons to grilling methods, it really comes down to preference.

Today were grilling bone in “New York Strip Steak”.

First thing before you even fire up the coals get your steaks out as they need to be at room temperature before grilling or you will have steaks cooked uneven through out.

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Pick up a good meat thermometer and no matter what happens during the grilling process DON’T CUT INTO YOUR STEAK OR FORK IT TO SEE IF IT IS COOKED!

On any bone-in steak nearest to the bone will always be the rarest. Ideally for best flavor and tenderness you want a medium rare steak, but if you like your steak cooked well done, go for it…

Just before I start grilling my steaks I brush both sides with light olive oil, and sprinkle salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked black pepper.

Just before I start grilling my steaks I brush both sides with light olive oil, and sprinkle salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked black pepper.

 

 

Before you start make sure the grates on your grill are clean and free of any residual charred goo and gunk.

Build a nice pile of charcoal in the center of your barbecue, and add lighter fluid and not GASOLINE!

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Once the grill is lit let it preheat for a minimum of 20 minutes or until are an ashy orange

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Once your grill is clean, oil the grate by grabbing an oiled paper towel with some long tongs, and wiping it over the bars. You’ll need to use an oil with a high smoking temperature, like canola oil.

Now that your grill is hot and the grate is clean, food won’t stick to it as much, and you will likely get some of those classic grill lines on your steak.

steak

 

Limit the amount of flips you do to the steaks. Ideally, you should flip each item once during the grilling process.

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Place the new york strip steaks on the grill with tongs. NEVER pierce the skin of the steaks with a fork!

Just before I start grilling my steaks I brush both sides with light olive oil, and sprinkle salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked black pepper.

You don’t want to put too many steaks on at once as it will slow the cooking process.

 

After about 2 minutes, use tongs to pick up the steaks, rotate 90 degrees and then place the steaks back on the grill for those nice grill marks.

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After 2 more minutes, you are ready to flip the steaks. Pick them up and flip them over.

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After another 2 minutes, rotate the new york strip steaks another 90 degrees. Now grill them for a final 2 minutes and they should be ready.

Now you can use your new meat thermometer.

Let your steak sit for about 5-10 minutes after it comes off the grill and before you dive into it. The juices will redistribute and settle as well as allowing the meat to reach its final tenderness as the temperature evens out.

Here is a chart with temperatures and grilling times.

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You can always stick your steaks back on the grill for a few minutes if they aren’t done enough.

 

 

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What do you know, now you can grill corn and steak. 🙂

 

Remember this, the longer you keep your steaks on the grill, the more well done they will end up.

Remember this, the longer you keep your steaks on the grill, the more well done they will end up.

 

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Is Your Grill Ready ?

 So with Memorial Day approaching we all know that means the opening season of summer grilling is near, and I have to ask.

Is your BBQ Grill, Smokers or Pits ready?
Are your racks clean and free of any left on food particles?
Are your grilling utensils old, rusted and falling apart.

When there is a build up over time of both grease and burnt food particles build on the grill racks, it can change the flavor of what you are barbecuing. Also a dirty grill could be a host for potential carcinogens. However, the most important reason to clean your grill is that all of those food particles sitting on the grill could grow bacteria, especially if they are not burned off completely.

I’ve read many article on how to clean your grill, and most suggest from using WD-40 to placing your racks in a large trash bag and spray with an oven cleaner. Why would anyone want to clean their grill with a product containing many toxins, and then place raw meat to cook? I used to think if I fire up my grill close the lid for about 15-20 minutes, we would be good to go. WRONG!!

Your grill needs to be clean each time, either before or after your done grilling.

So in my quest to find a clean but less toxic solution to cleaning my barbecue I found two very easy methods, and 100% safe.

Keep your barbecue grill in top condition by making a soft paste of 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup water. Apply the paste with a wire brush and let dry for 15 minutes. Then wipe it down with a dry cloth and place the grill over the hot coals for at least 15 minutes to burn off any residue before placing any food on top

Brew a full pot of coffee, pour it into a basin and then soak your grill grates. This will also works for barbecue utensils or oven burners. Let it sit for about an hour, give it a quick scrub and then rinse with warm water. The racks should be good as new.

Any utensils, or wire brushes you’ve used that are now rusted, my suggestion is to toss them out. These items are fairly inexpensive to replace and are not worth the time or risk to re-paint.

TIP..The best time of year to replace any grilling accessories is right around the time when Christmas decorations go on display. I’ve picked up high quality utensils for just a couple of bucks and when its time to grill I’m ready to go.

I added a slide show containing a few temperature charts on getting the perfect rare to well done steak, along with some images of what I love to grill myself, and the unusual, but oh so delicious.

What do you like to grill?

 

 

Easy Peasy Homemade Chicken Stock

Dishing It Out With Clarissa

Do you have a favorite place that makes the most delicious rotisserie chicken?

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I pick up on average two chickens a week from Sam’s Club, these chickens on average weigh 2.75 lbs for under four bucks!!

There is nothing quite like the texture and flavor of a rotisserie chicken. This flavorful poultry gem quickly became my “go to” for quick, easy dishes that will satisfy ones wallet and tummy. Now once I get home I remove the skin and shred the entire juicy chicken for salads, chicken enchiladas and many other dishes.

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About a month ago I found myself looking at the carcass in front of me and saying that it’s time for me to put these bones to good use and make my own stock.

It’s a great way to make use of the entire bird, and save yourself a few extra bucks.

I use chicken stock in many of my dishes, as it…

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