Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer

It’s time for Tuesday’s Tip with um.. me *grin* So let’s taking baking and eggs; room temperature eggs to be specific.  Do you know why it’s so important to have your eggs at room temperature when you bake (okay there are a few recipes that want your eggs cold but they are few and far between)?

Tuesday Tip
When you add your eggs to your mixture, if they are cold/straight out of the fridge the mixture won’t emulsify properly. In cakes, if made with room-temperature eggs your cake will have a slightly finer, more even crumb. It is extremely important to use room-temperature eggs for cake batters that rely on whipping air into the beaten eggs, such as angel food and chiffon cakes, since cold egg whites don’t whip as well, resulting in a dense cake. With room temperature eggs, the whites and yolks will combine easier when whisking. This means that the eggs will disperse more evenly into the batter, making for even cooking and a lighter texture (because the eggs trap air).

What to do if you’re in a hurry and take your eggs straight out of the refrigerator? Easy. Just put the eggs in a bowl of fairly warm water for about 10-15 minutes. When I am making either a cake or cupcakes I take my eggs out first and put them in warm water while I am getting the rest of my ingredients. By the time I get to the step in the recipe where the eggs are to be added to the batter, they have warmed up to room temperature.

Weekly Menu

Honestly I don’t think I have ever been this happy for a week to be over. Dear God world can I catch a break?  First my website goes down for 24 hours, THEN my windshield cracks all the way across on the car I JUST got back from that damn friggen deer that opted to use my car as its means for suicide, next I lost not only my insurance card but also my registration and lastly my ortho surgeon that I was to see on Thursday for my shoulder that is just killing me had to reschedule due to an emergency.  I’m beyond done.  Wait… is there another step past done?   *raises eye brow, curls one lip and thinks*  Hmmm…

But yeah this week has been hell!  My brain actually hurts from thinking too much.  And now my butt and legs are killing me as I went super hardcore at the gym during spinning (thank GOD I can do that again!  I so missed it though my tummy and thighs missed it more… trust me, my pants are ever so grateful!).  You know it’s a great workout when you have to break out your inhaler (I have asthma) not once but twice during class!  I literally was cherry red face, sweaty in places that are completely unbecoming of a woman and LOVED EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE!

1-25-15

Yesterday I had a super, SUPER busy day as I hit the gym early, ran to 3 stores and then came home to power cook for Mr. Fantabulous for a few days.  See I’m in a conference starting today and will not be home until Wednesday night.  Now to know my husband, you know all full well that I’m getting a HUGE guilt trip for “abandoning him” as he’s “going to starve” and he may die of hypothermia “as the clothes won’t be washed”.  LOL I mean it’s 3 days… you’d think I was leaving for a month. However me being the wife that I am went into  bionic mode today food-wise.  The dinners for Monday – Thursday AND the Dessert of the week are already done so all he has to do is plate them and heat them up.

And yes I’ll get the guilt trip for him having to “do the cooking” as that means he’ll have to make a plate and heat it up.  God, how will he ever manage!  LOL  If you would have heard him on the phone the other night with his best friend and then Mama Fantabulous you would have thought I was flat out neglecting him.  At one point I got annoyed (he’s joking by the way) that I threw the box of tissues at him and told him to wipe his eyes as his mascara was going to run. Big baby!  But it’s endearing when he plays like this.  He’s completely fine with my having to go to this conference.  He just hates being with out me.  Then again I’m the same way.  A few hours, sure but for days in a row… no.  I hate that as does he.

It’s funny when you’re with someone for so long you often say or think “Man I just need time to myself” and we may wish for a week or even a day but honestly after a few hours of him not being around when I’m home I hate it.  I miss him being there. It’s like a part of me is missing and I can feel it.

So this week I’m asking a favor, send him some love on Facebook (he reads everything) or leave him a comment in here.  And to our friends that live near by, check on the man to make sure he’s not malnourished.  Perhaps take him out to eat but um… you may need to bring the credit card or take out a 2nd mortgage *wink* The man can eat!  But you love him; how can you not?  He’s amazing.  He’s truly Mr. Fantabulous!

Here’s to an amazing week for us!

Best Kitchen Wishes!

♥ Monday -Italian Style Pot Roast
Tuesday - Honey Sesame Chicken
Wednesday - Pork Ragu
Thursday - Caramelized Onion Bacon Burgers
Friday - Indoor Grilled Traditional Pizza
Saturday - Roasted Cornish Hens
Sunday - Kickin’ Chicken Enchiladas
Dessert of the week - Fudge Ripple Turtle Brownies

Fudge Ripple Turtle Brownies

So yes I know I’m totally evil and I know you’re trying to lose weight but I just had to… just had to I tell you. It’s been one hell of a week and *I* need cheered up therefore you need cheered up (go with it, k?!) I don’t even know where to start… First my web hosting server crashed my site.  I couldn’t even log in to get my backup files and pretty much was having a heart attack.  Then I was told it would take 24-48 hours to get it remediated.  What?  24-48 hours?  Are you serious?  I have a conniption if it’s more than 30 minutes!  My site not up and running hurts my brand, my followers and my income! Now my brand and income I can deal with… it happens but knowing you guys can’t get to my recipes now that bothers me the most.  I hate knowing I disappointed someone even if it was unintentional.

Fudge Ripple Turtle Brownies3

Now while this had occurred I got home only to notice that on my car that I *just* got back from the collision center there was a dime-sized chip and an 8″ long crack in my windshield.  Yeah I know… seriously!  But I had to run into the house to tinkle (TMI I know) first.  Priorities people! So then I go to get my insurance car only to not find it.  Now in any normal house you have stuff in place or maybe just a few things out-of-place.  Yeah, not in my house.  Since we’ve had this 7-year-long construction project stuff is EVERYWHERE so to find things in this house is worse than a needle in a haystack.  However I actually understand the disarray and keep it as organized as possible (for the 5 minutes Mr. Fantabulous isn’t near the house… *sigh*). Yes I also lost my insurance card and car registration!
Come to the darkside, we have brownies!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer

It’s time for Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer and today we’re going to talk about spices. LOL Wha? I can’t help it. It’s just something that will pop up in my head whenever I hear the word spice. I know, I’m a dork but hey, you love me… right??? <insert excessive batting of the baby blues here>

With the holidays long gone I’m sure it’s about time to restock your pantry with chocolate chips, nuts and spices.  Now while you may still be sticking to your new year’s resolution eat healthier, we can overlook the chocolate for now (yes I’m shocked too that I just uttered those words) and concentrate on your spices.

Tuesday Tip
Dried spices have a shelf life; meaning they actually do go bad and expire. When’s the last time you used that container of paprika or marjoram? Has the paprika changed from a fiery bright orange to more a brownish rusty hue? But the real test to see if they are any good? Smell ‘em. Your nose, knows.  Remove the spice from the jar and take a whiff. *Note if you have asthma you may not want to do this.  Trust me, it’s hell getting a nostril full of nutmeg and the not being able to breath. However when you smell them,  the smell will be really strong. With herbs, you want to go one step further and rub them between your fingers. If the smell still isn’t strong,  they’ve probably lost their luster. (Sometimes herbs don’t smell in the jar, but when rubbed they smell — so they’re still good to go.

So how often should you replace them?  The general rule of thumb is every 6 months but if you keep them in a dark, dry area in an air tight container they can last up to a year.  You want to ensure that the spice jar is tightly capped and kept away from heat, moisture and direct sunlight (don’t store your spices over the stove, dishwasher, sink or near a window). You might also consider refrigerating spices that belong to the red pepper family — like paprika and chili power. This will help them retain color and freshness.

What I will often do is buy the spices in bulk and make up some spice jars for holiday gifts.  It saves me a couple of bucks and this way I know my friends are using fresh spices.  Normally I write a note on the basket saying “Out with the old and in with the new!  Toss your old spices!”

 

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

There are days when I swear there truly aren’t 24 hours in it.  Like I think there are those days when you maybe get 18 hours and somehow those other 6 hours magically disappeared.  Like maybe Mother Earth needed to borrow some time and took mine. They say the older you get the easier it gets.  Thing is I’m not sure I believe that’s entirely true. I think the older I get it *may* get easier but that’s only because at our age we’ve become the expert at doing it; whatever it is. Like remember when you were a little kid and you first learned to tie your tennis shoes?  It took FOREVER to get it right and I’m sure you sat there, tongue sticking out of the corner of your mouth and your eyes intently staring at your little fingers all the while your parents sat there reciting the bunny rhyme to help you tie them.  However eventually over time and practice you became and expert at it and now I’m pretty sure you don’t even give it a second thought when you do tie them, huh?

Thus since you aced the whole shoelace tying thing you were able to add another task to your day.  Eventually you aced that too and you added another task.  Eventually you are at the age you are now and you have a bajillion tasks to do and while you may be an expert at them all, they still take up time. For me I’m at that point.  I need more time in my days. Like you know how you can buy more cell phone minutes when you run out?  Well I want to buy more hours in my day.  Anyone know who I can speak with about this?
Honey Sessame Chicken

So this recipe happened on one of those days when I just didn’t have enough hours in the day but I knew at some point I’d have to eat.  See Mr. Fantabulous was off being a rock god (aka band practice) and I had 797 bajillion things to get done while he was gone AND somehow include some much needed ‘me’ time in there. Since I knew I’d be short on time I broke out my trusty crock pot and grabbed some stuff out of the fridge, whipped up a quick sauce, plopped it all in the slow cooker, turned that sucker on and went about my day.
Could you use more hours in your day?

Spare some dough

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