Learning As I Chop

Gone Fishing

Posted in Uncategorized by R @ Learning As I Chop on May 18, 2011

(source)

Hi LAIC readers! Sorry for the disappearing act. Need to take a few days off and will be back with an exciting new post on Monday, May 23rd. In the meantime, enjoy!

Penicillin in a Bowl

Posted in Baking/Cooking, Uncategorized by R @ Learning As I Chop on May 3, 2011

“Achoo!!” was H’s first word on Sunday. In response, chicken soup hit the agenda and ingredients were purchased.  H turned to his tried and true recipe, which calls for two chickens! (one whole chicken and one package of chicken parts), plus exciting vegetables like parsnips. I had no idea how to spot a parsnip and needed to google. Do you see them?

 (Apples not included.)

I already had plans for the morning so I bought the soup necessities and told H I’d cook it when I came home (bad wife, I know). However he had a different idea and began working right away. Like a sweet H, he took some pictures for us to enjoy. Spot the chickens?

To me, the cheesecloth is most mesmerizing. Has this beautiful, ghostly quality to it.  How did I find a man who knows that cheese-cloths exist, let alone know how to use one? Apparently H took the silver pot of soup and poured the broth into the red one. The cheesecloth strains the fat while saving the goodness. Once you have your broth, you can add whatver garnishes you desire, such as cooked carrots or chicken.

I haven’t made many recipes from this book but I definitely recommend it if only for the soup. Absolutely delicious and warms your heart in all the right places. Perfect for a rainy day or one filled with a few sniffles. Enjoy!

Did You Know: Flour Edition

Posted in Did You Know, Uncategorized by R @ Learning As I Chop on April 15, 2011

After my friend C read the first installment of LAIC’s new “Did You Know?” series, she quickly gave me this tip:

Did you know that you can create pastry flour by combining cake and all-purpose flour?

C wasn’t sure of the exact measurements, so I did a quick google and found this formula:

To make two cups of pastry flour, combine 1 1/3 cups (185 grams) all-purpose flour with 2/3 cup (90 grams) cake flour. Good for making pastry, pies and cookies. (source)

While walking to work this morning (lucky me, I’m well aware), I also began thinking about bleached versus unbleached flour. For obvious reasons – who wants to willingly add bleach to their food? – I always buy unbleached flour. But am I doing myself a disservice by omitting the bleach? Does it really add to baking? Well, according to Wikipedia:

Bleached flour is a white flour treated with flour bleaching agents to whiten it (freshly milled flour is yellowish) and to give it more gluten-producing potential. Oxidizing agents are usually employed, most commonly organic peroxides like acetone peroxide or benzoyl peroxide, nitrogen dioxide, or chlorine. A similar effect can be achieved by letting the flour oxidize with oxygen in the air (“natural aging”) for approximately 10 days; however, this process is more expensive due to the time required.

I am going to guess the answer is no, and unbleached is fine. Do I really need more gluten in my food? The unbleached variety tends to work well and peroxides don’t sound so great to me.

Lastly, a Spring-related tibdit of knowledge – flour used to be spelled flower. This fact automatically makes me think of this little guy. One of my childhood favorites.

Have a great weekend and enjoy!