Rest in Peace Pudding

Rest in Peace Halloween Pudding

If you are eating dinner before your kids go trick or treating then it will prove to be a good idea as this delicious and sweet dessert might curb their sweet tooth and refrain them from sampling their sweets on their way. Tell the kids that their sweet tooth is going to rest in peace with this Rest in Peace Pudding recipe.

Rest in Peace Pudding
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 box of chocolate pudding and pie filling
  • 2 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 4 vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1 tube of black cake decorating gel
  • 4 serving cups or one large bowl
  • 4 candy flowers or fun Halloween candy
Instructions
  1. Start by making the pudding; heat the pudding-mix and milk in a pan over medium heat. Keep stirring until the mixture comes to full boil. Follow the instructions given on the box. When done, pour the mixture into 4 serving cups or one large bowl.
  2. Now create the ‘dirt’. Open the chocolate sandwich cookies and remove the filling. Put the cookies in a plastic bag and roll over the bag with a cup or a drinking glass to obtain medium sized crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the pudding before it sets.
  3. Next, you have to create the headstone. Put a vanilla wafer on the table and write “RIP” on it. Make sure the ‘headstone’ is long; so you can see the words when you plant it into the ‘dirt’.
  4. Lastly, put a candy flower or rosette in front of the tombstone. You can find the candy flowers and rosettes at any cake decoration shop or a bakery. Engage the children by letting them decorate; candy worms and pumpkins can be used. Refrigerate the dessert until you are ready to serve it.

 

Tips on How to Buy a Slow Cooker

Tips on How to Buy a Slow Cooker

A slow cooker is a great small kitchen appliance to have on hand. You can place your meal it in and set it to cook all day, while you are at work. Your supper is ready and waiting for you, when you arrive home. However, if you are a first time buyer of this type of cooker, you may be confused about how to buy one. Check out our list below for some tips on this.

Round or Oval

Should you buy a round or oval slow cooker? Each has its good points. The round is ideal for spaghetti sauce, beef stew, and chili just to mention a few of the dishes. However, if you are going to be using this type of cooker for roast and whole chicken, then you need to look into the oval-shaped design.

Size

What size of slow cooker is best for you? This really depends on the size of your family and your style of cooking. A model that is 3 to 4 quarts is sufficient for many recipes that are for 2 to 3 people. However, if you have a large family you may consider a 6-quart model. Also, if you prefer cooking a lot of food at one time to have leftovers for the rest of the week, the larger model is recommended.

Brands

Does the brand of the slow cooker really make a difference? The brands can make a difference in quality and features. You can let Consumer Reports  guide you in this area. On its website, you will find three different brands and models of these cookers that this organization recommends.

The top pick is the All-Clad 99005, which comes with a nonstick pot, stainless finish, and the insert is safe for both oven and stovetop. This model has a glass lid. The controls are easy to understand and can be read clearly. This model sells for about $250.00.

Hamilton Beach 33967 Set 'n Forget

Hamilton Beach 33967 Set ‘n Forget

Now, if you want a lower priced model that this organization recommends, Hamilton Beach makes the Set N’ Forget 33967 that comes with a 6-quart stoneware insert that is dishwasher safe and the lid is tempered glass. It is programmable and has a LED digital control panel. It also comes with a one-year warranty. This one also comes with a temperature probe. It sells for about $50.00. Hamilton Beach also has a cheaper model for about $40, the 33162 and this model has manual controls.

These are the three models Consumer Reports recommends. Of course, there are many more brands you can choose from starting with the Crock-Pot brand. This was the first brand in the crockery slow cookers. You will find a variety of styles at reasonable prices at their site as well.

Crock, Stoneware, or Non-Stick Inserts

You can get crock, stoneware, or non-stick inserts, with the various models of slow cookers. Many people prefer the crock or stoneware inserts, because of their ability to hold heat. The preference is yours.

Digital or Manual Settings

You will see that both digital and manual settings are available on models depending on their style and price ranges. The manual models are typically less expensive than the digital models. Also, some of the digital models are even programmable for even more convenience.

When it comes down to your final decision, choose the slow cooker that suits your needs the best in all the things listed above. Food is so delicious when it is allowed to cook slowly enough for all the flavors to meld together.

How to Care for Cast Iron Cookware

How to Care for Cast Iron Cookware

Non- stick cook ware is nothing new. Our great grandmothers had it in their day; it was called cast iron and many home cooks are rediscovering it. With no coating to flake off into food and no possible carcinogens to leak into the food, cast iron is becoming increasingly popular. However, it does require some specialized care.

Starting With New Cast Iron Ware

One’s first foray into cooking with cast iron should be with a skillet from there you can expand outward. Cast iron is not born non-stick it needs help becoming that way; it needs seasoning. At home with your brand new iron skillet or other piece, coat the cookware with cooking oil and put in a 350° oven for an hour. After it has spent its time baking, let the skillet cool and wipe it dry. The now seasoned piece of cookware is ready to be used. In a perfect world this only needs doing once and the very process of cooking continues and deepens the seasoning of the piece.

Living With Cast Iron in a Non-Perfect World

If taken care of properly, cast iron becomes even more seasoned (non-stick) as it ages. It is washed with plain water and soap never touches it beautifully oiled surface. However, since the world isn’t perfect it sometimes becomes necessary to use dish detergent to clean a cast iron piece. This can occur because of food being left in the cookware or it has been allowed to become too hot. Other culprits are metal scouring pads or a trip through the dish washer.

When Washing is Necessary

Cooks new to cast iron cookware may find the urge to plunge the cookware into hot soapy water irresistible. If a cast iron piece must be washed with soap, the less soapthe better. Similarly as little of the cookware as possible should be in contact with water. The anti-soap, anti-water admonition is most important in the beginning when the seasoning hasn’t penetrated as deeply into the piece of cookware. The more deeply seasoned the pan, the more forgiving iron becomes.

Storing Your Cast Iron

The important thing to remember when storing cast iron pieces is that moisture is the enemy; it causes rust. Store in a dry place, without lids in place. Also, if items such as skillets are stacked one in another, then place a paper towel between them to absorb moisture.

Tips and Trivia about Cast Iron Cookware

  • Cast Iron is slow to heat but once it become hot it retains heat and requires less energy to stay hot.
  • Food cooks evenly due to the cookware evenly diffusing the heat
  • Since iron retains heat, protection such as a mitt, pot holder or thick dish towel is necessary when moving hot pieces.
  • Cooking with Iron cookware provides extra iron to the food cook in it.
  • If using as a deep fry, limit oil to 1/3 the capacity of piece
  • When cooking with gas, adjust flames so they do not touch the sides of the cookware
  • Designate one towel to use for wiping out your cast iron pieces and avoid having multiple towels smudged
  • Salt can be used as an abrasive rather than scouring pads
  • While rust should be avoided it won’t ruin your pieces. Scrub off the rust and re-season your iron ware for years of continued use


Now that your cast iron cookware is ready to go, how about trying out some delicious recipes?

Cast Iron Cooking Recipes

How to Prepare Apples for Fall Recipes

How to Prepare Apples for Fall Recipes

photo credit: abcdz2000

Each season has its own vegetables and fruits that people love to eat. One of the most eaten fruits in the fall is apples. If you like them too, here are some ideas to help you get them ready to use in your recipes.

Why apples? Well, they are a great food. The adage about keeping the doctor away with one is true. Eating an entire apple with the skin provides a large amount of your daily fiber requirement. And, apples contain quercetin which is an antioxidant that helps with lung health and lowers cholesterol.

Apples are versatile. They can be used in cakes, pies, main dishes, salads and breakfast foods. This hearty fruit keeps its shape during cooking where other fruits turn to mush. It can be super sweet, lightly sweet or totally tart in taste. Whatever you wish to have, an apple can give you.

But, before it can do anything, you need to know how to use it. Here are a few tips about apples you might not know.

 

Preparing Apples

 

  1. Choose fresh crisp apples – At the height of ripeness, apples have the best taste whether sweet or tart. If you want a sweeter taste to your dish without using a lot of sugar, choose a sweeter apple like Red Delicious, Golden Delicious or Jonagold. When cooking, pick a variety of apples both sweet and tart. Granny Smith apples bake well.
  2. Using the apples – Don’t prep your apples until you are ready to use them. Once exposed to air, the flesh of an apple begins to turn brown. You can retard this process by dipping them in lemon juice and water.
  3. Peel the apples – One tool that will benefit you and pay for itself is an apple peeler/corer. If you don’t own one, then invest in a vegetable peeler and a corer tool. The apple peeler device skins the apple without traumatizing and removing too much flesh. For pies and crumbles, remove skin for a smoother taste.
  4. Core your apples – To remove seeds, use a corer. It cleans out the center of your apple cleanly. When baking whole apples, fill the center with sugar or raisins to absorb moisture from the apple. This keeps the flesh from getting mushy. Leave the skin on except for a strip at the top so moisture can escape during baking.
  5. Slicing your apples – Many combination peeler/corer tools also spiral slice your apple at the same time. Sliced apples are great for fruit pizzas, layered apple pies, tarts and salad recipes.

Cooking with Apples for KindleFall and apples go hand in hand. This year, allow the wonder and taste of this perfect fruit wow you and your family in several recipes. In fact, check out our latest recipe book for the Kindle, Cooking with Apples.

Peppers don’t have to be scary

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of hot and spicy foods and when I see various types of peppers at the grocery store I usually stick to the trusty bell peppers, after all, they come in a variety of pretty colors that will make any dish look fabulous.

Recently, when a salsa recipe that I wanted to make called for jalapeno peppers I was thinking about leaving them out entirely, but my hubby likes a little “spicy” now and again so I decided I would cater to his taste buds and just do a little taste test myself. Guess what? It wasn’t that bad and I was able to leave the fire extinguisher in its place.

Peppers are NOT created equal. Some varieties are super hot, while others are easy-peasy on the taste buds. Check out my infographic below that goes into a little more detail about the various popular pepper varieties.

Peppers don't have to be scary