Thursday, 11 July 2013

Flour and stuff... measuring makes a difference especially with Biscuits

Measuring flour who would have thought... there could be that big of a difference in a recipe!
Even after cooking and baking for over.. yes over many years - ok 40 years plus I've learned something new!

So I saw this little video about making biscuits - something I have done for years and the lady said to measure out the 4 cups of flour and of course use a knife to get exactly one cup. Now I know some professionals use weight and not cups for an accurate measurement - but sometimes I am just whipping them up and can't be bothered!
After measuring the 4 cups into a bowl they say to lightly fluff it with a fork - not sifting it or over beating it - just a light fluff.   I was shocked to see I had almost 3/4 of a cup extra!  In fact I was so shocked I re-measured it.
So I gently put together the ingredients for my biscuits - not over mixing anything.... gentle mixing
that's the key to light and fluffy biscuits and of course cold butter.  I know some recipes use shortening - but I just don't use that stuff...

This recipe used a very hot oven - 500F for 10 minutes!

and they came out light and fluffy!

4 cups of AP flour ( measured and then fluffed and re- measure to 4 cups
1/2 cup cold butter cut into small piece.
Blend butter and flower together with a pastry blender until the butter is in small bits.
6 tsp baking powder (I did the same thing measuring the Baking Powder - fluffed it out)
1 tsp salt
Mix this all together - lightly :)
3/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup of buttermilk
Gently bring the dough together until it is just mixed together.
Put on a lightly floured surface and gently form so you can lightly roll it out.
Lightly rolling means using almost no pressure - just a little bit to shape it up and so it's about 1/2 inch thick.
Cut into circles and bake at 500 for 10 minutes.

Hope you see a difference on how light and fluffy these biscuits are!
They got Mr. SweetArt's approval!

SweetArt Supplies

Monday, 1 July 2013

Light and Summer Fresh Pasta Salad


Sometimes I surprise myself and create something of my own - this is one of those things.  Some of the Facebook pages I follow have posted a lot of pasta salads -- it's hot - you don't want to cook and you want something light and flavourful.

I started with the big pasta shells - cooked and cooled.
I had a huge beautiful avocado on my counter, tomatoes, cucumbers and some lemons - that came with a cool spout that you just insert and then squeeze for fresh juice!

I seeded the tomato and used an English cucumber - if I had had a red pepper I would have put that in to for a little more crunch.

I had some fresh baby romaine lettuce and tossed it all together - it looked wonderful now I needed to create something yummy to dress it up.

hmmmm what do I have .... oh Mrs. Jones Jams I have......Roast Garlic Jelly and Pineapple Jam

Roast Garlic JellyPineapple Jam
so in a small bowl I scraped the last little bit on Pineapple Jam out - I maybe got a tablespoon - I could have used more!
I added about 1 tsp of  Roast Garlic Jelly
I squeezed almost the whole lemon for all the juice.
I then added some nice olive oil...
It still needed a little more punch!  Pixie Chicks Spices!!  Saigon Dreams!!  A perfect fit!
"This lemongrass, cilantro, citrus, brown sugar & red chili love boat will have you lazily drifting down the Saigon River in no time!
Say that fast three times." (from their website)
How I did it..... (aka recipe)
3 chopped and seeded roma tomatoes
1 large chopped avocado
1/2 English cucumber
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup fresh romaine or spinach (tear to small pieces)
1 Tablespoon of Pineapple Jam ( I could have used 2 Tablespoons at least)
1 teaspoon Roasted Garlic Jelly
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Saigon Dreams
Juice from one lemon
My son and daughter-in-law showed up from camping and I had just finished making this -- I offered it to them - and it was a big hit!  Light and refreshing - perfect for the hot summer day we are having.
A nice switch from my go to pasta salad - especially when you have a wonderful avocado and some great local ingredients and products to use!
I hope you enjoy it  - and please check out the websites for them and follow them on Facebook!
Of course don't forget to check us out at SweetArt Supplies and on Facebook