Lime Pie

Appearing in the early 20th century the exact origins are unknown, but the first recorded mention of Key lime pie may have been made by William Curry, a ship salvager and Key West’s first millionaire. Supposedly his cook, “Aunt Sally”, created the pie for him. It seems his crews of sponge fishermen at sea did not have access to ovens but the original version allowed the creamy pie to be prepared without baking. Early writings state that Aunt Sally’s version called for a graham cracker crust and softly whipped cream.

Many cooks and bakers in Florida claim their recipe is the only authentic version. Be that as it may, the filling is rarely disputed: rather, most debates revolve around the crust and topping. Everyone does agree, however, that green food coloring is for amateurs, and a proper version should be pale yellow. Key limes (also called Mexican or West Indian limes) are the most common lime found throughout the world; the U.S. is the exception in preferring the larger Persian lime.

The two contentious versions center around crust and topping. Early pies probably didn’t even have a crust, but now locals vacillate between traditional pie crust and graham cracker. And then there is the topping. The two camps argue meringue vs. whipped cream. (Apparently these folks have a lot of time on their hands.) Contrary to popular belief, what makes the filling creamy is not cream at all but sweetened condensed milk which is thicker than evaporated milk and comes in a can, first introduced by the Borden Dairy company in the late 1800s. It’s possible that if the sponge divers had anything to do with the pie, they indeed had plenty of canned milk, eggs and Key limes on board (and plenty of sponges for clean-up).

In other countries where Key limes grow, they are used more commonly in many dishes and as a popular flavoring. Although grown for centuries in Asian and South America, they didn’t make an appearance in the U.S. until the late 1800s. which means foodie president Thomas Jefferson missed out entirely. (How he would have loved those pies!)

If you visit Key West, pie factories and bakeries abound, and you can literally eat your way from one end to the other, reveling in the different offerings and deciding for yourself which one you like best. There are also shops which sell dozens of products enhanced with Key lime, such as moisturizers, potpourri, candles, soaps, candies and cookies. Unfortunately for much of America, procuring authentic Key limes is not always easy, and using regular limes just won’t do. Oh sure, you can buy bottled juice which the locals would frown on, but for some it’s better than nothing.

Southern Desserts

In most convenience stores, you can’t miss the display of Moon Pies (not really pies but more like sandwich cookies) sitting on the counter, just begging to be snatched up. They’re a southern tradition, kind of like their version of s’mores, made with graham crackers and marshmallow filling, then dipped in chocolate or butterscotch coating. Don’t try to make them yourself. Opt instead for a chocolate or lemon chess pie, which is easy, served in a single crust and contains a dense, sugary filling. Another no-brainer, fruit cobblers can be single or double crust, baked in a casserole dish and can have a crumbly topping sprinkled over the fruit filling, rather than a pie crust topping. Southerners like to use buttermilk biscuits on top. Sugar pie, originally from southern Indiana, is basically a custard base with lots of brown sugar or molasses, single crust. (Diabetics beware.)

Pies came to America with the first English settlers. Early colonists baked their pies in long narrow pans called “coffins” which also referred to a crust. (Not very appetizing for sure.) Centuries earlier, most pies were filled with meat and eaten as a main course, and early desserts were kept simple, featuring fruits and nuts. But American colonists used fruits from their orchards, replacing centuries of meat fillings, and it was during the American Revolution that the word “crust” replaced the less appealing term coffyn (original spelling). Probably a good idea, as our foodie President Thomas Jefferson would have frowned on serving desserts with coffyns at the White House. (His guests thanked him.)

In the summers when fruit was plentiful, early cooks prepared a crust, filled it with apples or peaches, and called it cobbler (sometimes referred to as a “crisp” or apple brown betty, both close cousins). The origin of red velvet cake plays a tug of war between New York and the South, making its debut in the mid-twentieth century, and each region has its own slightly different version. The red color came originally from beets, but now uses red food coloring, unless you really like beets. Banana pudding is always a hit, made with vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, vanilla pudding and whipped cream.

Okay, so what exactly is hummingbird cake? Basically a spice cake made with mashed banana, pineapple, pecans, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. It’s also a popular pie, which includes similar ingredients but poured into a pie crust. Old-timers swear you’ll sing like a bird when you take your first bite. (Why not nightingale pie? They sing more.) Or maybe it’s supposed to get your taste buds humming, You decide.

Homemade Soups

Ditch The Bullion Cube

The first thing that people reach for when they are making a soup base is bouillon cube. This is not a good thing to go with, as it can be full of salt, and even MSG. It’s far better to seek out a different solution, including no sodium chicken or vegetable stock to utilize in your soup creations. You’ll want to ensure that it’s 100{e03b69f0ff4ccb676ee459162ca00bbd61b23573fb15baba8121b58c9c2b4dac} organic as well, and look carefully at the ingredients for any added sugars or anything that could cause the caloric intake to rise exponentially. You’ll want to stick to this starting point, unless you’re going to use a great deal of water and season soups on your own, without the help of salt that is in the stock.

Vegetables Fill Out Soup

When you’re creating soup, especially for those that have diabetes, make sure that you look into adding many vegetables. Vegetables, legumes, and more can add filler to any meal and without added sugars. You’ll have to be careful to select your mix carefully because not all of the items in your grocery store’s produce department will taste good together. Seeking out solutions that will taste good is tough, but it’s not impossible. Finding a balance is all about what you want the end result to taste like, and what flavor profiles you want to add.

Lean Meats, No Fat

Look into adding meats that are lean, and have no fat. If you’re going to use chicken, for example, avoid adding the skin and try to utilize breast meat. It’s important to not add too much meat that has a high cholesterol or fat content. That could mean that you need to add only leaner cuts, and perhaps skip out on meats together. Be selective with the type of meat you’re going to utilize if you are going to make soups in this category.

When in doubt, look for filling options like chili, stews, and even purees that can be very filling in the end. The process of learning how to make soup for diabetics is not difficult, as much as it is time consuming. You’ll want to avoid canned solutions, or anything that has too much reliance on salt, sugar, and other elements that will not be good for the body. Nutrition matters greatly here, so keep a look out for labels and different additions that you’re going to put into your mix.

Paleo Tomato Soup

You may want cream if you don’t like the natural texture of tomatoes in your soup. This can be cream made with dairy so if you don’t mind dairy products then it’s a good one to use. There are a few to choose from at your local market so look carefully to see what you want.

Another option for cream if you wish to stay away from dairy products would be coconut milk witch isn’t a bad alternative. Coconut milk has many health benefits and can give your tomato soup a unique taste. Coconut milk also can give your body a lot of hydration witch is good your skin and body and general. If you need a healthier alternative then coconut milk is a good option for anyone.

Just adding water can also be a viable option. It’s really up to you if you think you need cream or not. Some people just decide to forget the cream all together and go with the natural ingredients that are already in the soup. If you have a good soup then the cream may not even be necessary. It really depends on witch recipe you are using and how you are making your tomato soup. If you feel like the cream doesn’t need to be there then it doesn’t because there doesn’t always need to be cream.

So soup cream is really a personal thing and it’s up to your taste buds to decide if you need it or not. If you feel the need to add cream then add it and see what you think and if not then just add a bit of water and forget the cream. Each is a good option and has it’s own unique taste. The more you cook tomato soups the more you’ll get a feel for it and develop your own style of tomato soup. In the long run your taste buds need to get honed in and trusted.

Chicken-Vegetable Soup

My chicken soup isn’t made in a pressure cooker. I just use a big pot with a lid that I found at a discount store. This recipe starts with basic soup ingredients–onions, celery, and carrots. Although I rarely cook Brussles sprouts, the grocery store was having a special on them, so I bought a few. This green, cabbage-like vegetable adds extra flavor to the soup.

For color, I add a can of diced, no-salt tomatoes in juice. For flavor, I add garlic and oregano. You may wish to add some dried basil, too.

Although leftover chicken is one of the ingredients, it can be omitted for a vegetarian version of the recipe. Vegetable stock may be substituted for chicken stock. As for the pasta, any small one will do, such as rings, shells, or cut spaghetti. You may be tempted to dump the pasta into the soup without measuring, this isn’t a good idea. Instead of soup, you’ll wind up with stroup, a cross between soup and stew.

Keep in mind that pasta continues to absorb moisture in the refrigerator, so you may have to add some water when you reheat soup. Chicken-Vegetable Soup with Orzo and Oregano is a meal in a bowl. Serve it with your favorite crackers, hard rolls, French bread, or flat bread.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1 cup petite carrots

2 cups Brussles sprouts, halved

1 carton (32 ounces) salt-free chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice

1 can (14.5 ounces) water

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1/2 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

1 teaspoon dried Oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Pour olive oil into soup pot. Add onion and cook until translucent, about five minutes. Add celery, carrots, and sprouts. Cook five minutes more. Add all remaining ingredients, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Coconut Pulao

Preparation Time: 4 minutes

Cooking Time: 6 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup Basmati rice

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves

25 mm. (1″) stick cinnamon

2 green cardamoms

1/4 cup green peas

1 carrot, sliced

1 cup thick coconut milk

2 tbsp cashew nuts, fried lightly

1 tsp butter

1 tsp oil

Salt to taste

The next dish in this segment of ‘Cooking Under 10 Minutes’ is ‘Coconut Pulao’.

Pulao (rice dish) is very famous in India.

There might be over 200 variations of the Pulao.

Today, we are going to make ‘Coconut milk Pulao.’

Let’s check out the ingredients

Oil, Butter, Cloves, Stick Cinnamon, Green Cardamoms, Lemon, Sliced Onion, Green Peas, Sliced Carrot, Basmati Rice, Coconut Milk, Grated Coconut, Chopped Coriander, Cashewnuts, Salt to taste

Now let’s check out the procedure.

Firstly, let’s take a pressure cooker.

Add one tablespoon oil and one tablespoon butter.

We are using the oil, butter combination so that the butter does not get charred.

We have to add 2-3 cloves, a small stick of cinnamon, 2 green cardamoms.

We have to cook it in hot oil for 15-20 seconds.

Now we will add a cup of sliced onions.

Generally, we sauté onions right till they are golden brown while preparing pulao.

But not while making the ‘Coconut Milk Pulao’.

We have to make them translucent.

The onions have now turned translucent.

Now we will add half a cup of green peas and half a cup of sliced carrots.

Now let’s add in Basmati Rice and half a bowl of coconut milk.

Add in Cashew nuts and salt to taste.

We have to saute the rice with coconut milk for 10-15 seconds on low flame.

Now the rice is nicely done.

Now we will add in 1 1/2 cup of pre boiled water.

We now need to replace the lid on to the cooker and cook it for just one whistle.

And the Pulao would be ready.

We can now take the Pulao in a serving dish and add some butter on to the top.

The delicious coconut pulao is ready!

Tasty Cold Soup

The Summer Medley

What you need:

  • 1/2 kilogram assorted small tomatoes, halved
  • 8 large heirloom tomatoes, each sliced into 8 wedges, pureed
  • 2 large tomatoes, halved and cored
  • 2 small squash, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cantaloupe, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup halved blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Cheesecloth

Line 2 layers of cheesecloth in a colander and place over a large bowl. Pour tomato puree over cheesecloth, tie ends of the cheesecloth and refrigerate overnight. When ready, extract remaining liquid from the cheesecloth by gently pressing with a spoon (should yield about 4 cups). Cover and refrigerate. Meanwhile, place large tomato halves, cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Bake in a pre-heated oven (250 degrees) for 2 hours. When ready, place a roasted tomato half in 4 soup bowls. Divide squash, cucumber, cantaloupe, assorted tomatoes, blueberries and thyme. Season with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Stir in remaining sea salt to chilled tomato water and pour over fresh ingredients. Drizzle remaining olive oil over bowls and serve immediately.

Bakers Blue Label Marie Biscuits

Marshmallows work perfectly too. This is possibly one of the best sweet treats to make for yourself. All you need to do is place a marshmallow between two of the Marie Biscuits and put it in the microwave for a couple of seconds. A delicious melted marshmallow treat.

If you are having a party and want different treats besides cupcakes or tarts you can make sweet treats yourself. Dress up this biscuit with chocolate and sprinkles and serve it as a delicious dessert on the buffet tables. This works well for New Year parties, Easter parties or Birthday parties.

Most cheesecakes have a base that uses this biscuit. You can either make the traditional cheesecake or Tiramisu.

Traditional cheesecakes can either be baked or chilled. Crush the biscuits and layer them on the bottom of the pan. To give the base extra excitement you can add lemon juice, orange juice or zest prior to adding the mixture to the pan. Make sure you add a little sugar.

For the Tiramisu, you need to layer the biscuit between cream cheese, cream and chocolate shavings. Usually finger biscuits are used to absorb the espresso but Marie Biscuits work just as well. This cake does not require baking. Make sure you make a nine cup pot of espresso and add three teaspoons of sugar per cup.

Another trend present that can be seen all over the web is dessert balls. The crushed biscuits allow the dessert to stay stiff whilst being chilled and frozen for the baking or frying process. All that needs to be added is a chocolate dough which usually consists of milk, egg and flour, depending on the recipe and how it needs to be cooked.

Food Storage

Examples of risks related to the immune system. For diabetics, any unexpected illness may disrupt blood glucose levels. Try to prevent unnecessary influences when possible. Same goes for older adults – quality of food is paramount. Regardless of age and health status, stale and improperly-stored food is simply less tasty and may pose health risks.

Minimize risks while shopping. To preserve the best flavour and safety while shopping, pick up refrigerated and frozen items last, and put them away first when you get home. Keep cold items separated from warmer items in your cart. Avoid bruised fruits and vegetables. Bacteria thrive on moist nutrient-rich surfaces.

Focus on date and temperature. Discard any perishable food that is past the “Best By” date marked on its package. Ensure your fridge temperature is 4 °C (40 °F) or below, and freezer is -18 °C (0 °F) or colder. While you’re at the fridge, ensure vulnerable moist and meaty/dairy foods don’t contaminate other fridge contents by storing each item in a container. Clean containers with hot soapy water before re-use.

Taste and nutritional quality changes over time. As food at room temperature is consumed for energy by micro-organisms, the remaining food product is changed. It may be left brittle and moist. This process of consumption and waste production often causes a change in taste and smell.

Concern yourself with safety over appearance. Smells, bruising, and taste are not reliable signs of food safety. Adhere to recommended storage methods and times posted by reputable health agencies, and don’t rely on colloquial rules of thumb not based on food facts. Store vulnerable items in the back of the fridge where it’s coldest, not in the door, and place items that may drip (such as meats and sliced fruit) at the bottom, where contaminated liquids can’t drip onto other food.

Be aware of different viewpoints. Outside the U.S. and Canada, milk is pasteurized with a higher-temperature process, so milk lasts longer, and without refrigeration. Milk storage times are much shorter in the U.S. and Canada.

  • Meats: maximum two hours out of the fridge, including time coming home from the store and cooling off after cooking
  • Milk: return to fridge quickly after use; discard served contents (don’t pour warm material from a serving container back into the original, colder container); store in coolest part of fridge (ie. not the door) between 0 and 4 °C
  • Cooking: find correct cooking temperatures for different types of meats and recipes in a quality cookbook, and wash hands 20 seconds with warm soapy water after handling meats, eggs, and any uncooked mixes that contain them
  • Surfaces: clean counters and cutting boards with sanitizing kitchen cleaner before and after contact with food; use one cutting board and knife for produce, and another for meats
  • Handy information: Consult the Government of Canada’s handy chart of recommended storage times; it will encourage you to understand the need for safe food handling, and lists storage recommendations for many items
  • Example: the current recommended safe storage time for raw beef and pork in the fridge is 2-4 days, and for opened milk is 3 days

Banana Cue

This is the banana cue. The name banana cue comes from the combination of the words banana and barbecue. It is deep fried with coats of caramelised sugar and placed on a barbecue stick. It also goes by the name, maruya in the southern parts of the Philippines. Anybody can see it being peddled by children of the owners or just being sold at the side of the street at any Philippine afternoon. It’s price ranges from 5 pesos (USD0.10) to 8 pesos (USD 0.17) per stick or per order. It is always best eaten piping hot so the banana does not become hard to chew. It is stimulating to the taste bud and to the senses. The aroma is sweet and so is the taste. It is crunchy and at the same time chewy because of the sugar and the banana. The snack is heavy and fulfilling on the stomach. One can indulge in coffee, tea, soft drinks or the famous “sa-malamig” gulaman and sago drink when eating this snack. There is also the famous special cut maruya which is the favorite among the locals. It is special cut because the banana is cut into smaller pieces and is coated with the caramelized sugar. Every bite is pure bliss.