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Welcome to COOKINGSKEWL!!

The name can be pronounced in two ways, and that's exactly the dual purpose of this site: Cooking IS kewl and I really hope it's gonna be a kewl community Cooking School!


So let’s get started...



I wish I'd thought of that - wait, I DID
I love coconut oil! There are so many uses: conditioning your hair, facial scrubs (add 1 tsp baking soda to 2Tblsp oil, blend, massage into skin. after 5 minutes splash with lukewarm water until "grit" is gone. massage again and let remaining oil absorb), I've even seen where you mix it with turmeric and use it to brush your teeth?!? Yeah, really. But we're talking about cooking.

Unless you keep your house a whole lot warmer than mine, coconut oil tends to be very solid and difficult to scoop out of the jar. Somehow I don't think it's a good idea to melt and harden and melt and harden... but I've done it. And then one day it hit me...

This is all you need:


Yes, that's a turkey baster and an ice cube tray. Got it ? I placed the sealed jar in some very warm (NOT boiling) water, and when it was fully clear proceeded. Open carefully and use the baster to draw and deposit the melted oil. Be careful not to siphon into the bulb - I can tell you from experience it's a PAIN to clean!


Let it sit at room temperature for several hours. Even though it might LOOK solid, the last thing you want is one leaking and making one big ball.


In cool weather these can be stored on the counter - but when it starts getting warmer store in the fridge. And guess what? I measured the volume of the "cubes" in my tray - almost exactly a tablespoon! Now isn't THAT convenient

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 22 April 2018 - 11:01:10
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the IDEAL keto dessert
Keto is about limiting carbs, a moderate amount of protein, and a whole bunch of fat! Now what dessert fits that profile better than cheesecake!!!?!?!


With a food processor, it's incredibly easy to pulse a bunch of nuts and seeds to make a delectable crust!!
!


You're looking at almond flour, cinnamon, coconut oil, golden flax seeds, cup for cup sugar substitute ( the recipe I used calls for pecans, but I didn't have any so I used some whole almonds....)



Then it simply says to mix all the other stuff together


Beat the cream cheese until smooth, add the non-sugar, coconut flour, flavorings... and then add the eggs ONE BY ONE!!! Whip each until fully combined, and THEN add the sour and heavy cream...




As obnoxious as it is, I highly recommend the extremely slow method of cooling: an hour with the oven off, another half hour in the oven with the door open, overnight in the fridge...

Trust me, it will be worth the wait!!


Posted by Linda :
Saturday 31 March 2018 - 16:43:50
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Pizza in half an hour?
I made my first cauliflower pizza a few years back when my sis-in-law started having issues with gluten.

In my new endeavor with keto, they have become a staple! Now, the original recipe I found didn't use cauli - simply eggs and cheese. I tried it, very good, but since I had a ton of cauli rice I've since added about a cup to his 4 eggs and 6 oz of shredded cheese (I prefer moz).

Just spread it out on some parchment,

Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes. Let it kewl a touch before you proceed (but turn your oven up to 450F).

Most brands of spaghetti/tomato sauce have sugar - so either make your own or simply use tomato PASTE!

Spread it out - you don't need much!

SEASON!!! I used garlic powder, oregano, and dried onion.

Up to this point, your entire crust plus the cheese for topping has about 1000 calories, or more importantly, 15 net carbs. How you top it depends on you, so I can't guide you there - but I used some precooked hot Italian sausage and diced green pepper to top mine last night.

We've already accounted for another 4oz (1 cup) of shredded moz or provolone (I like them mixed!)

Ten minutes at 450F... Oh so good! I usually slice into six pieces - the original recipe says this serves 2, but I never eat more than two slices at a time - it's THAT satisfying!!!

(and, ahem, I HAVE eaten an entire frozen pizza in an evening... )

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 18 March 2018 - 13:34:24
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Simple changes!
I've been learning a lot on my keto journey – and loving every bite of it!! Okay, after three weeks I was on a special roadtrip for Valentine's Day and ate pasta and bread and home-fries (separate meals!!!)... Even that mild "binge" taught me -of that bunch I miss bread the most, so I'm experimenting!

I've stocked up on some previously unusual ingredients like xanthum gum, acacia, psyllium husks... I already had some almond and coconut flour, and chia and flax are familiar names at least Those are important for replacing gluten items - but not for day to day life.

Most meals, I'm learning, can be carb reduced by pretty simple means – I really enjoyed this recipe for beef stew, and it really wasn't very different than what I'd made before. The techniques discussed apply to ANY meat and veg prep, and the fact that this is low carb is pure bonus!



So what's the difference? Those ain't potatoes – that's a large celery root peeled and cut in a large dice. CHECK THIS OUT!!! Fewer calories, fewer carbs, more nutrients... Okay, it's ugly – but when slowly simmered as in this beef stew I PROMISE that if you didn't know, you wouldn't know!!!

Adding just small cuts of carrot instead of tons of carrot still give you the eye appeal, and removes tons of calories/carbs... Almost forgot - instead of peas I used small cuts of green beans - same reason, fewer carbs but still looks "right"? MY adjustment to this recipe was that I felt it needed a tad of thickening, so instead of using a roux or other starch, I added maybe a half teaspoon of xantham gum and in just a moment I had that silky mouth feel I'd missed!

Don't get me wrong – I'm not trying to convert anyone! In fact, this is simply a grand experiment towards my own health. As with any new endeavor, I'm enjoying the experimentation – I hope you continue to read along

As always, your stories and experiences are welcome!

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 17 February 2018 - 14:44:54
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Yeah, I'm still alive... lol
I really like my job of the last several months and I've achieved a "permanent" status! And if I say so myself, I'm mighty good at it!! The things is... it's long, sometimes stressful days - mandatory overtime from time to time - and worst of all? It's a DESK job!

My "steps" have dropped to a third of what they were for years, my muscle tone is fading and I don't have the time or energy to make a concentrated effort in that direction. But what I HAVE done is a ton of research on a Keto diet.

This high protein/lo carb method has been around for years under many names. For sure, it's a great way to drop 10 pounds of water weight before a doctor's appointment or a hot date. Let's face it - no diet will work if the food or volume or restrictions suck (oops!). I'm doing this for me, for a committed month, just to see? I'll definitely share the best recipes as we go along, but rest assured, I have no intention of limiting the possibilities of postings here - I've still got to do my part for family and other events, lol!

Whatever your dietary leanings, this one is easy and delicious! A quiche is a great thing, and this crustless version is totally enjoyable.


I had some mushrooms as well, so I sauteed them with the spinach.

Breakfast for me for over a week - and about 10 minutes effort? Yeah, that's good eating!


Posted by Linda :
Saturday 27 January 2018 - 16:43:11
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Sweet AND Savory Apps – can't lose, right?
I saw this idea all over the web, even the local news – an apple and caramel cheese ball coated with pecans... It's SOOOO good!! I chose to use some Dulce du Leche for my sweet sauce – awesome!


In fact, Mom enjoyed it so much on Thanksgiving that she asked me to make it again for Christmas. Haha!! I'd realized that, and had already made another batch! Done.

For the savory, I'd made this Roasted Cauliflower recipe for the potluck at work, and my... it was good as a side, but in my mind it tasted like a supreme dip! Ok... spread...


It has an interesting tomato based sauce, and instead of goat cheese I had “cheaped out” and used cream cheese – but dang, it worked!!! For the Thanksgiving app I used two 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese, doubled up on the the spices, and added an extra splash of tomato sauce. Hearty crackers (Triscuits) were perfect.

I've been having some computer issues, and not nearly enough time available to fix - so please forgive me if I post this without any pics and add them as I can get them ready - but I didn't want you to miss out <3


Posted by Linda :
Sunday 17 December 2017 - 16:14:10
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Ghoulish Pizza
SO sorry I'm late with this!!! I happened to catch the tail end of the show, and Mario Batali had prepared this perfectly ghoulish pizza - which I simply HAD to make!



Awesome, right? And it tastes even better. I already had some pizza dough that I'd made using King Arthur's recipe, but I cooked them using the skillet technique from Mario - you've got to try it!!! Just like grilling pizzas, you've got a partially cooked crust with a crisp bottom that all you have to do is add your toppings and bake or broil a bit more. A "keeper" technique

So, you slowly saute your onions in an oil/butter combo, and then simmer for a bit in some diluted balsamic vinegar with just a touch of sugar. This element I've made before, and even if the idea of the pizza escapes you, these onions are delicious!!! You spread some creamy goat cheese over the top of the crusts and garnish with the onion!!!


A couple comments here: as a viewer pointed out in the comments, add the olive oil to the goat cheese to make it easier to spread. I ended up adding more than the recipe called for, but I got the texture I wanted. Personally, I'd go with a bit more cheese as well... I hadn't purchased enough cipollini and that's why you see some sloppy rings. I made a second batch of the balsamic glazed onion, using plain old yellow onions... The cipollini were definitely the "ghoulier", but we didn't really notice a difference in the flavor.

Now, we can't forget the "blood sauce" - a simmered mixture of equal parts red wine and sugar. I simply couldn't resist this brand -


Only a cup went into the sauce, and this was a very nice, dry Cabernet Sauvignon at a very reasonable price.

Pop the pizzas under the broiler to your desired "darkness" and drizzle with the sauce.



You need not make it horrid looking, but the flavor combinations are sublime. I found a bit of salt and pepper accentuated the sweet, salty and savoriness of the dish. This a dish worthy of year round enjoyment!

Posted by Linda :
Friday 10 November 2017 - 16:41:45
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Sweet and Salty and Seasonal ;-)
This makes an incredibly big batch, so have some airtight containers ready!!! But it's easy as can be:

Toss the "salty" together (rice chex, pretzels, bugles)...


Gently bake with a glaze (butter, brown sugar, vanilla)...


Now, ME? I would have stopped here - those are peanut butter and chocolate pieces...


but it IS a holiday that's all about the sugar !!


It's on dozens of sites, but this is the one that I used for Harvest Chex Mix!

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 29 October 2017 - 18:18:10
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The Best Brownie that isn't QUITE a brownie – that you'll absolutely LOVE
I've made this recipe more than a couple times – and it's awesome! What bothers me is that the last time I went to the saved link to get the recipe I was told that after over a year, I no longer had privileges?!?

Okay, lets all shake that off. We're about to make Banana Foster Chocolate Crusted BLONDIES. That's MY name for them, and very appropriate. Bananas Foster is a pan seared, deep caramel, rum sauce that is flambeed as the bananas cook, often served over ice cream. Here you have all the flavors baked into a chocolate crusted BROWNIE. Repeat after me...


I use my food processor to crumble the chocolate grahams, a touch of sugar and the melted butter.


Press all of that into the 13”x 9” and bake for a short while, then cool.


Now for the fun ingredients! Obviously missing are the bananas, which I'd frozen and well, they really aren't very pretty after that...

Bananas, eggs, rum, flour, salt, walnuts... Shmoosh them all up in your food processor or mixer.

The KEY to this recipe is browned butter – I've posted about this technique before and promise: I took lots of pics and will post a simple tutorial soon.


That gets mixed into the batter that gets poured over the crust and baked. And then...

OH PHOOEY!!!! I don't have any pictures of the finished product!?!? I've got to make these AGAIN?



to be continued...

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 14 October 2017 - 18:00:49
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Love your Coffee? Try adding these!
I've made some new friends on my new job, and when telling them about this blog and how I like to try new recipes and ideas on a regular basis, Russell's first reaction was “BISCOTTI?!?”, lol. I said “sure”. So the next time I had the urge to bake, I did some searching.

An article titled “Seven Biscotti Recipes We Love” caught my eye, and I actually had all the ingredients for the first on the list: Bacon Chocolate Chip?!? Sounded like a dream to me...


This goes together so quick and easy that I completely forgot to take pictures – this one is from the recipe site. You fry some bacon, cool, then pulverize. Cream some butter and sugar, add a flour mixture, stir in the bacon and chips. I used dark chocolate chips, as they are my favorite and what I had on hand... It was NOT a mistake, and quite enjoyable.

My only issue had nothing to do with the recipe but with my oven – it simply doesn't hold a low temperate well. So after slicing the rolls and cooking at 200F to dry, I found myself checking every 10 minutes or so for multiple times – touching the slices to sense the first bit of crispness, then turning the oven off to let them sit for another half hour.

Light enough to enjoy on their own, dry enough to hold together while dunking. And that little bit of saltiness and texture from the bacon?!? Outstanding! I'll share my own photos in the various steps when I make these again - oh yeah, I WILL make these again

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 27 August 2017 - 14:18:02
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