Friday, April 27, 2012

German Semolina Pudding

Semolina Flour has many health benefits including having a low glycemic index (slow carb release); source of dietary nutrients: B vitamins, fiber, magnesium and iron; protect immune system from toxins, deceases, and ultraviolet damage; has a rich source of protein compared to other flours; and decreases the risk of diabetes 2, some cancers and heart disease. 

My husband grew up in Ukraine eating a similar semolina recipe as shown in the picture above.  It's a popular versatile hot cereal item in European countries.  When we traveled to Ukraine in 2010, Andrey's mother cooked us a similar recipe below.  It was delicious and versatile in a way that you can top it with anything.  Thus far, I've had it with numerous flavoures of jam, honey, pears, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and have sprinkled cinnamon and pumpkin spice to it.  It's so good.  

I actually presented this recipe at a, "Cooking Healthy: International Cooking Class" yesterday.  Small samples topped in cinnamon spice and strawberries were passed out to the audience while I was presenting.  I got mixed reviews since the sour strawberries overpowered the taste of the semolina pudding.  I should have gone with bananas for the topping.

German Semolina Pudding
Serves 2

2 cups milk

1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar

1/3 cup semolina

In a small saucepan, stir together the milk and sugar. Set over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Milk tends to boil over as soon as it boils, so stay with it! When it boils, immediately remove from the heat. Stir in the semolina, and return to the burner. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until thickened but still pourable. Pour into serving bowls, and top with your favorite hot cereal toppings.

  • Use skim milk to make it healthier.
  • Stir in the semolina using a whisk otherwise it gets clumpy.
  • Substitute white sugar with honey.  Add the honey to taste after cooking. 
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easy Chicken And Mushroom

Superb, if I don't say so myself.  I made this for dinner tonight and it's bursting with flavor.  Kalamata olives are just a wonderful addition to such the dish.  It's also easy to make.  I get many compliments whenever I cook this.

Just a few tips:
  • Add 1/4 cup of the juice that comes with the kalamata olives
  • Add more kalamata olives
  • Double the amount of garlic recommended
  • Saute the garlic first to get the flavor out and then add the rest
  • You don't have to pound the chicken breast.  Cutting it flat in half serves the purpose.  You just have to cook it longer.
  • Goes well with a side of rice and asparagus
  • It's still delicious without parsley.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An Alternative To Boiled Eggs

We had some almost expiring eggs in our fridge.  The thought of boiling and then tediously peeling them made me want to cringe.  I thought about frying them but I just cleaned the stove top and didn't want to dirty it up.  Then I got hungry for an egg sandwich.  To kill two birds in one stone I decided to put some eggs up in that Sandwich Express.  All you need is spray oil, a spatula, and eggs.  This Sandwich Express cooks 4 eggs evenly in 3 minutes (depending on how cooked you want them).  So win!
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Weight Watchers 0 Point
Cabbage Soup

I was looking for a low carb recipe and stumbled upon this WW 0 Pt Cabbage Soup.  I believe it's the ultimate guilt free soup.  I've already had two bowls of this already.  My only regret is not cooking more because this will go fast with the family.  This soup is extremely easy to make and you can be flexible with what you want to put in it.  Next time I'm going to add more tomato paste and crushed red peppers.  I like it quite spicy. :-)

Weight Watchers 0 Point
Cabbage Soup

  • 3 cups nonfat beef broth (beef is the best) or 3 cups nonfat vegetable broth (beef is the best) or 3 cups nonfat chicken broth (beef is the best)
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt & pepper 

  1. Spray pot with non stick cooking spray saute onions carrots and garlic for 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, Tomato paste, cabbage, green beans, basil, oregano and Salt & Pepper to taste.
  3. Simmer for a about 5-10 minutes until all vegetables are tender then add the zuccini and simmer for another 5 or so minutes.
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

French Baguettes

Fresh out of the oven.

Before going in the oven.

Oui oui.  Délicieux.  Arome.  Amour.  Ladies and Gents, these French Baguettes are excellent, especially straight out of the oven.  My love for breads is growing and I just love learning to cook different kinds.  I'm still intimidated with making sourdough, but soon, soon.  Nonetheless, enjoy!  The batch I made above are one and a half of the recipe below.

French Baguettes
makes 2 baguettes


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 1egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Place 1 cup water, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast into bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select Dough cycle, and press Start. (Tip: You don't need a bread machine - I used my Kitchen-aid - otherwise get dirty and use your hands, it's fun)
  2. When the cycle has completed, place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  3. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. 
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rolls, Bread, and Veggies

These Soft Yeast Rolls were loved by the whole family.  There was no hesitation to reach for a second and third serving.  They're THAT good.  They go well with butter, cheese, and of recent I've had them with Nutella.  Absolute YUM!!!
Soft Yeast Rolls
By The Virtuous Wife
2 cups of lukewarm water (105 degrees) 
3 Tbs dry yeast
1/3 cup powdered (dry) milk
5 cups flour (separated)
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 Tbs salt
1/2 cup sugar

Step 01
In a bowl, combine the water, yeast, dry milk, and 2 cups of flour. Let sit for 5-8 minutes. This is called preparing "the sponge" for the dough.

Step 02
After the "sponge" has risen and puffed up, add to stand mixer. Add the oil, salt, and sugar.

Step 03
Begin mixing in the remaining 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time. It will be an elastic, sticky dough.

Step 04
Grease a bowl with cooking oil (1/4 cup of a cup, usually) and put the sticky, unkneaded dough in the bowl. Cover with saran wrap and let rise until double in size (about an hour).

Step 05
Once it's risen, punch down, and turn it out on a floured surface. Knead the dough once or twice, just to get it shaped into a ball. Divide the dough in half to make it more manageable. 

Step 06
Roll the dough into a log shape and begin pinching palm-full sized rolls off the log. Shape them into circles and lay them in a greased baking dishes (I used a 9X13 and an 8X8 dish). The sides of each roll should just touch the others.

Step 07
Cover the dishes with saran wrap and let rise in a warm place for 20-25 minutes. Until double in size.

Step 08
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until tops of rolls are golden brown. Butter the tops of the hot rolls when they come out of the oven. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!       

The rolls before going in the oven.

Also made Baked Veggies.  Simple and extremely easy.   Choose any veggies you like: asparagus, tomatoes,
onions, zucchini, assortment of colored peppers, and carrots.  Cut and mix in a bowl with olive oil and garlic salt.   Place in baking sheet.  Bake at 400° F until potatoes are soft.  Broil for 4-5 minutes.  Add salt as desired.

My mom's secret banana bread recipe.  The recipe usually call for crushed walnuts but I was too lazy to
go to the grocery store.  Nonetheless, the banana bread is moist and delicious.  Secret recipe indeed.
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Let's Go Out To The Kitchen

When I was 8 years old, new to the Americas, I saw this commercial on television and got hooked singing the song "Let's go out to the kitchen..."  I remember being thin and getting criticized for it.  Adults kept telling me to eat because I looked anorexic.  As a young impressionable kid who sought love and approval, I made myself eat even though I didn't want to.  Then I gained the weight and was still criticized for being chunky - by then the damage was done - I couldn't get out of the kitchen.  ha ha!  So I stayed to this day.  :-D

In essence, I love the kitchen and all the cool stuff that can be created there.  It's not only a form of art, but a party for my taste buds.  One of the most satisfying things in the world is to taste a variety of impeccable foods.  Even to travel and dare to risk eating street vendor foods with optimistic caution is exciting.  Hopefully one of these days I'll be able to travel to do so - then blog about it.

Saw this helpful little snippet on pinterest about finding your mistakes into baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie from the website itself.  It's very useful and good for someone who loves to bake cookies such as myself:

From the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
 There are many variables in baking.  Pictured are cookies with various problems using the same dough (with flour adjustments in numbers 3 &4).

  1. This cookie is done just right. It is pictured to compare with the rest.
  2. This dough was not refrigerated.  It is still good but a little flatter than it should be.
  3. This dough contained too much flour and did not spread much at all. It is interesting to note that the dough looked identical to the correct dough, but was much stiffer and drier.
  4. This dough had too little flour.  It spread too much and didn’t bake evenly.
  5. This dough was over-mixed.  It had a poor color, baked flat and had a strange consistency. 
  6. This dough was formed too small.  It was overcooked at eight minutes. It is fine to make smaller cookies, just bake them for less time.
  7. This dough was formed too large.  The outsides were done while the middle was too high and underdone.
  8. This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too hot.  The outside was overdone and the inside was slightly underdone.
  9. This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too cool.  It fell flat and became too crisp without much of an inside.
  10. This dough was frozen when baked.  It took longer to bake and didn't cook as evenly.  To use frozen dough, set on cookie sheet at room temperature while oven is preheating, 15-20 minutes.  It takes the frost off and bakes perfectly.

Check out the website, it's pretty awesome - and don't forget to follow me on pinterest.
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