August 23 is National Spongecake Day

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays

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Once considered the most ‘decadent’ cake in the world,

Spongecake deserves it’s own ‘day.’

 

Here are today’s five thing to know about Spongecake

  1. During the renaissance, Italian cooks became famous for their baking skills and were hired by households in both England and France.
  2. The new items that they introduced were called “biscuits,” though they were the forerunner of what we now consider to be sponge cake.
  3. Gervase Markham (1568-1637),  English poet and author, recorded the earliest sponge cake recipe in English in 1615.
  4. These sponge cakes were most likely thin, crisp cakes (more like modern cookies).
  5. By the middle of the 18th century, yeast had fallen into disuse as a raising agent for cakes in favor of beaten eggs.

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Today’s Pinterest Board : Spongecake, Recipes and More

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Today’s Food History

  • 1617 The first one way streets were established in London. Seventeen one way streets were created to…

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12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

Source: http://www.tablespoon.com/ – By tbspJake

Mex it up: Cinco de Mayo sips and sweets!

Thinking about a Cinco Party? You’re going to need refreshments. Here are our fiesta faves, from authentic margaritas to awesome piñata cookies.

Somewhere in between Easter Feasts and Memorial Day BBQs, there’s a celebration lull. But don’t forget about Cinco de Mayo!

You can always tip back cervezas over a bowl of chips and guac – but why stop there? Take it up a notch with some decadent desserts and sensational sips. So let’s put tomato juice in our beer and set our ice cream on fire. It’s time to party!

1. Mexican Chocolate Pot de Crème

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

This is melt-in-your-mouth creamy chocolate pudding spiked with cinnamon and ancho chili powder. It’s like, “Hey, taste buds – let’s party.”

2. Cajeta Mexican Caramel Sauce

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

Caramel sauce made from goat’s milk and vanilla and cinnamon? So decadent, you’ll want to eat it with a spoon (if there are people around, try it drizzled over pound cake or ice cream).

3. Michelada Cocktail 

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

Get your happy hour started with a Michelada, Mexico’s answer to the Bloody Mary. Dark Mexican beer + Tomato juice + Soy sauce + Worcestershire + lime. You won’t wanna stop at one, so make a pitcher.

4. Mexican Margaritas

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

If you’ve had one too many pineapple-strawberry-infused slusharitas, get back to the basics: a good tequila, lime, salt, a little sugar and a few cubes of ice. Salty-rim mustaches optional.

5. Sombrero Piñata Cookies 

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

Did you think we forgot party favors? These little cookie hats are adorable enough. But then you break ‘em open like a piñata to reveal hidden rainbow treats. Olé!

6. Caramel Flan

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

No, this isn’t a 5-minutes-and-you’re-done dessert. This legendary confection takes some patience and focused attention. So make it before you do tequila shots.

7. Mexican Coffee Popsicles

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

Popsicles made with strong coffee, cinnamon and almond flavoring. It’s a straight-up shot of icy, bitter and sweet—the perfect caffeinated party pick-me-up.

8. No-Fry Fried Ice Cream

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

Afraid of frying? You can still savor this Mexican classic. Our version is ice cream balls rolled in crunchy cereal with a drizzle of caramel syrup and whipped cream. All mmmmm, no mess.

9. Fro Yo Margaritas

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

What’s that? You hadn’t heard about Yoplait Margarita-flavored Yogurt? Now you know what was wrong with every other frozen margarita you ever had. You’re welcome.

10. Churro Cheesecake Bites 

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

Churros are just fried dough and sugar, right? Why is there no cheesecake in there? WAIT, LOOK AGAIN. That’s better. Now try to stop at just 1 or 2.

11. Tres Leches Cake 

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

Imagine three kinds of leche (milk) poured over a moist and amazing cake. Made with boxed cake mix and ready-to-spread frosting, so you’re ready to indulge in no time.

12. Pina Colada Mango Smoothie 

12 Drinks and Desserts For Your Cinco de Mayo Party

Don’t call it a night quite yet. Here’s one more round on us: Easy-breezy piña colada-inspired smoothies that don’t even have to be boozy. Serve it as-is or spike with a touch of rum.

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A Cuban Sandwich

Source: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/

Customers have written begging us to provide them with a recipe for Cuban bread, so that they can replicate sandwiches they had in Miami. Well, it doesn’t take too many knocks in the head till we respond —

First, the Cuban bread. The recipe was very close to any other plain white bread formula, save for one interesting variation — the use of lard as an ingredient. Lard, hmmm… what real difference could that make? Well, we discovered that, made with lard, this bread has a distinctive “salami-like” smell and taste, which happens to pair perfectly with the fillings in a Cuban sandwich. However, fresh lard being hard to come by, butter is a fine substitute. The bread has a fairly fine-grained texture, and semi-crusty, semi-chewy crust; we think it would be suitable for any type of meat-filled sandwich.

We had some interesting reactions around the office while we were perfecting our Cuban sandwich recipe. Since we haven’t been to Miami recently, we were hoping we were on the right track, but couldn’t be sure. It was gratifying when one of the women on our accounting team gleefully grabbed a sandwich off the sample table, murmuring “Ah, a Cuban. I haven’t had one of these in ages!” Seems she’s a Miami-an, transplanted to the cold North. She says these sandwiches are very similar to what she enjoyed in Miami, though the ones in Miami were “much greasier.” So feel free to spread lots of oil or butter on both the top and bottom crusts of the bread before grilling.

Note that the recipe, as written, includes a marinade for the pork. While tasty, it’s not essential; if you have leftover roast pork, or simply want to sauté or grill pork for this recipe without the marinade, go for it.

Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make these sandwiches are available at Bakers’ Banter, our King Arthur blog.

Pan Cubano
4 cups (17 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter; or 3 tablespoons fresh lard, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) water

Roast Pork and Marinade
1 1/4 pounds boneless pork: roast, ribs, chops, or pork tenderloin
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon paprika (preferably hot)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

Sandwich Filling
sliced roast pork
1/4 to 1/3 pound thinly sliced smoked ham
3/4 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
dill pickles, sliced (about 11 ounces; about 1 1/2 large “pickle barrel” pickles)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) melted butter or olive oil (1 3/4 ounces)

Manual Method: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. Gently fold the dough in upon itself and turn it upside-down after 30 minutes; this “turn” helps eliminate some of the excess carbon dioxide and redistributes the yeast’s food, both imperative for optimum yeast growth.

Mixer Method: Combine the ingredients as directed at left, using a flat beater paddle or beaters, then switch to the dough hook(s) and knead for 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise, with a turn, as directed above.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your machine, program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start. Examine the dough about 10 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle, and adjust its consistency with additional water or flour as needed, to produce a smooth, supple dough. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.

Divide the dough into six pieces, and shape each piece into a rough log. Let the logs rest for 15 minutes, covered, then shape each piece into a smooth batard shape (a log about 8 inches long, slightly tapered at each end). Place the loaves on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet.

Let the loaves rise, covered, for 1 hour. Brush or spray them with water, and slash one long lengthwise slit down the middle of each loaf. Preheat the oven to 375°F while the loaves are rising. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until it’s golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool it on a rack. The loaves may be made one day in advance and stored at room temperature, or several weeks in advance and frozen. Yield: 6 sandwich loaves.

Roasting The Pork: Mix all of the marinade ingredients together (all of the ingredients except the pork), and rub this mixture over all surfaces of the pork. Cover well, and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.

Place the pork in a roasting pan or ovenproof dish, and roast it in a preheated 425°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until cooked through. Remove the pork from the oven, and cool it completely before slicing thinly.

Sandwich Assembly: Slice the Cuban loaves in half horizontally. Brush the cut surfaces of the rolls with olive oil or melted butter. Layer the sandwiches as follows: Swiss cheese, sliced pickle, ham, sliced roast pork, then additional cheese.

Now comes the somewhat challenging part. You want to grill these sandwiches, top and bottom, while at the same time flattening them slightly. This helps meld all of the filling ingredients. Heat two large skillets, or a griddle, to medium, about 325°F. Lightly grease the griddle and/or skillets. Brush the bottoms of the sandwiches lightly with olive oil or melted butter. Place them in the greased pan(s). Brush the tops with oil or butter. Top them with a piece of parchment paper or foil, then a flat sheet pan, or other flat, non-meltable object—the point is to provide a flat surface for a weight. Place something heavy atop the pan—a teakettle filled with water makes a good weight, as does a clean brick wrapped in aluminum foil.

Grill the sandwiches for 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat, checking often to make sure the bottoms aren’t burning. Adjust the heat downward if the bottoms are becoming brown after only a couple of minutes. Turn the sandwiches over and grill for several more minutes, until they’re slightly crisp on both sides, and the cheese is melting. Remove from the heat, and serve warm. Yield: 6 sandwiches, 12 servings.

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5 Trifle Recipes for Easter

British Isles Society

Source: By Haley Willard – http://www.thedailymeal.com/

You can make many variations of this fruity dessert for Easter

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10 Iconic Italian Dishes Everyone Should be Able to Make

Source:   By Jonathan Hirsch Editor, The Daily Meal  – http://www.thedailymeal.com/

Iconic Italian and Italian-American dishes for every occasion

Iconic Italian Dishes
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We’ve compiled a list of world-famous Italian and Italian-American dishes for every occasion.      

All over the world, Italian cuisine has made its mark. From fettuccine alfredo to chicken parmigiana, Italian dishes are consumed and enjoyed in many countries outside of Italy. In fact, some of the most famous “Italian” dishes were inspired and perfected outside of Italy. If you’re thinking of cooking dinner for yourself or your family this evening, an Italian dish may have crossed your mind. We’ve prepared a mouth-watering list of the 10 most iconic Italian and Italian-American dishes that should be on your dinner list in the days ahead.[related]

The 10 Iconic Italian Dishes Everyone Should Know How to Make (Slideshow)

You can’t go wrong with a classic Italian-American favorite like spaghetti with meatballs — a dish most everyone at the table can agree upon. If you’re looking for something more decadent, you might want to try the Classic Carbonara with Pancetta Recipe, or this rich and delicious Fettucine Alfredo RecipeWhatever the occasion requires, there is an Italian dish here that is sure to make everyone in your home happy.

  

Not every night can be devoted to a new cooking project. If you’re short on time and are looking for a quick and easy meal, dishes like Pasta Bolognese or Pasta Primavera are unbeatable and classic favorites. Click on the slideshow to learn more about the most important centerpieces of your Italian fare.

Whatever your preference may be, these 10 dishes are sure to satisfy even the most discerning of tastes. You never know, there may be a few dishes here that you’ve never heard of before.

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Pepperoni Artichoke Breadstick Focaccia

Source: StoneGable – http://www.stonegableblog.com/

This bread is so pretty and delicious, thank you Stone Gable for the recipe.

 
Yes, this does taste as good as it looks! Easy to make and soooo yummy, BREADSTICK FOCACCIA has quickly become a family favorite here at StoneGable.

This recipe falls into the “IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE” category. It can be morphed into so many different tastes.  Today’s focaccia was made with pepperoni and marinaded artichoke hearts… plus some roasted vegetables we had leftover in the frig!
How about making a sweet breakfast focaccia using cinnamon sugar and butter! YUM!
There are as many options as you have ideas!
And the great bonus is that it is soooooo pretty… a real swirly treat for the eyes!

PEPPERONI ARTICHOKE BREADSTICK FOCACCIA
1 can of Pillsbury Refrigerated Breadsticks pepperoni, one package marinaded artichoke hearts, small jar olive oil basil, fresh and cut into chiffonades
Preheat oven to 375degrees.
Remove breadsticks from can and separate.
Starting at the center of  a parchment lined baking sheet begin to coil the breadsticks into a loose spiral adding pepperoni and artichokes as you go. Make sure to pinch the ends of the breadsticks together.

Lightly drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until browned and puffy.

Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with basil.

Cut into wedges to serve. I like to serve a dipping bowl filled with marinara sauce on the side.

Other options: bacon pesto cheese ham chopped broccoli caramelized onions pancetta roasted garlic sundried tomatoes chopped black olives fresh herbs roasted red peppers chopped mushrooms anything you can put on a pizza!
For a sweet treat… add cinnamon and sugar. Make a glaze out of confectioner’s sugar and milk and drizzle over the top.
PRINTABLE RECIPE

ENJOY!

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17 Winter Soups to Warm The Soul

Source:  http://blog.outerbanksvacations.com– by Sara Paxton

After our back-to-back winter blasts on the Outer Banks, we are scrambling for anything to keep the chill from getting in our bones! From warm fires to comfort food to hot cocoa, we’ve been bundling up and snuggling up for days now trying to hold it together until our fair weather or spring pokes its head back around the Outer Banks! Across the country to the west and to the north, it seems it has been an active winter season with records lows to the west and plenty of snow and cold temperatures to the north. Even Texas has been experiencing unprecedented wintery conditions with snow and ice causing travel delays and a serious need for ice scrapers.

So, until Groundhog Day rolls around and tells us what the next 6 weeks hold, try out some of these delicious, hearty winter soups to keep you comfortable until the beach begins to beckon to you again.

Best Chicken Noodle Soup

1. Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup – In our 11 Comfort Food Recipes, we listed this amazing Chicken Noodle Soup recipe and it definitely belongs on any list featuring winter soups! 

Black Bean Soup

2. Black Bean SoupA great option for vegetarians, or those looking to watch their weight and get healthy in the New Year, as black beans help with managing your hunger pains due to the way the nutrients interact with your metabolism. Many opt to spice this recipe up a bit with curry or red pepper, and for all of the bacon lovers out there, throwing in ham or bacon can give this meal some depth and heartiness.

Chunky Tomato Soup

3. Chunky Tomato Soup – For the best texture in this vibrant tomato soup, puree half of the soup until smooth, then stir it into the chunky base.

Beer and Cheese Soup

4. Beer and Cheddar Soup – When Jonathon Erdeljac opened his restaurant, Jonathon’s Oak Cliff, in Dallas, he knew he wanted to serve this rich soup. It’s a favorite of his, especially with jalapeños and smoky bacon stirred in.

Potato Soup with Spicy Shrimp

5. Potato Soup with Spicy Shrimp – Influenced by his Turkish-American wife, Meltem, Scott Conantspices up his silky potato soup with Turkish red-pepper paste (biber salcasi), made from sweet and hot peppers. Look for the paste at Middle Eastern groceries, or use harissa instead.

Winter Squash Soup with Pumpkin Seeds

6. Winter Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Chef Susur Lee is renowned for his creative, complex,Asian-inflected dishes at his restaurants in Toronto, Manhattan and Singapore. But one of his favorite cold-weather comfort recipes is this remarkably simple squash soup, which he sweetens with a little honey and garnishes with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Nordic Winter Soup

7. Nordic Winter Vegetable Soup – Trina Hahnemann calls the root vegetables in this simple vegetarian soup the “gold of Nordic soil” because they’re high in nutrients and grow well in cold climates.

French Onion Soup

8. French Onion Soup – Cooking the onions for a very long time over low heat mellows their flavor. Don’t stir them too often or they won’t caramelize. This soup tastes best when made with homemade beef stock.

Thai Shrimp and Coconut Soup with Lemongrass

9. Thai Shrimp-and-Coconut Soup with Lemongrass – Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle’s feel-good Thai coconut soup is flavored with chiles, ginger and lemongrass, and garnished with plenty of shrimp.

Corn-and-Cod Chowder

10. Corn-and-Cod Chowder – With its all-American ingredients, this New England-style chowder is a comfort-food classic. The soup needs only bread, or traditional oyster crackers, as an accompaniment.

Spiced Chickpea and Tomato Soup

11. Spicy Chickpea and Tomato Soup –  A spicy twist on a classic soup with chickpeas to add depth and texture. Mix up the spices with curry and other options to decrease or increase the heat as desired.

Minestrone Soup

12. Minestrone with Collard Greens and White Beans – Instead of the usual escarole or kale, use hearty collards in this familiar soup. The greens’ slight bitterness plays nicely against the creamy beans and sweet tomatoes.

Potato Leek Soup

13. Potato Leek Soup – This creamy potato-leek soup turns leftover mashed potatoes into a lunchtime favorite.

red lentil soup with bacon and sage

14. Red Lentil Soup with Sage and Bacon – Red lentils, which actually have a deep-orange color, are rounder and smaller than the more common brown variety.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

15. Chicken Tortilla Soup – As both noodles and a garnish, corn-tortilla strips do double duty in this flavorful chicken, ham, and vegetable soup.

Beef and Coconut Soup with Crispy Shallots

16. Beef and Coconut Soup with Crispy Shallots – Shallots in Season: Pan-fried until crisp, shallots are served as a crunchy garnish; coconut milk, ginger, plus the heat of jalapeño add up to Asian flavor.

Chicken Posole

17. Chicken Posole – This Mexican-style soup is an entire meal. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months. You can make this soup with any precooked chicken or turkey..

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