Sunday, July 12, 2015

How to make your own Brown Sugar plus a few other tips.

I've not been cooking a lot of new stuff lately.  It's summertime, I don't want the oven on, it heats up the house, and well, I just haven't felt like doing a lot.

However, during conversations with friends,and working in the kitchen at the Senior Center I realized that I do a lot of shortcuts, or 'hacks' as they have come to be known as, and I wanted to share some of  them with you.

 Have you ever had a cutting board start 'moving' around on the counter as you were trying to cut something?  I have and it's become a habit to put a damp towel, dishcloth or even a piece of damp paper towel under the cutting board.  I do it with the heavy cutting boards I use when I make lunches at the Senior Center, I do it at home.  I do it here, I do it there, I do it everywhere.   There is just nothing like bearing down on a tough cabbage or a big carrot and have the cutting board 'move' on you.  At least I don't like the feeling.

I'm also shameless, shameless I tell you, when it comes to copying from others when I see a great trick that I can use in the kitchen.   A few months ago we made a turkey dinner and one of my volunteers showed me a new trick.   I'd roasted the turkeys, taken them out of the oven, but wanted them to rest up a little before we got the carving underway.  So I tented them with foil, then Lisa put some towels over top of the foil, and we let them sit for about 45 minutes while we were getting the rest of the meal together.   The towels helped to keep the turkeys warm while they rested.  I'll be doing that again in a couple of weeks.  We're doing a Christmas in July dinner.  We're even having Pumpkin Pie to go with it.

I was making a Kringle last weekend for a Fourth of July party, and realized I had no brown sugar on hand for the filling.   I didn't panic though, I just pulled my bottle of molasses out of the fridge and proceeded to make my own brown sugar.
You can do that, really, you can.

2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon molasses

Mix up and use.  I used my little food processor to mix it up a little better as I was pressed for time.
And then decided that maybe I needed to make up some more to keep in the cupboard so I did, make more that is, but I like darker sugar so I added a little bit more molasses.   This is one of those things you can play with.  Get too much molasses in there, add more sugar.
Play with your food.  I give you permission.
And this is one of the Kringles I used the sugar in.
I actually made 4 that day.
One of which had a custard and chocolate filling. 
Next time I'll use more chocolate, it was a little skimpy on the chocolate.
But it looked pretty.
And then there were these two.

I've got lots more hints, tips and ideas but...

Well, gosh, I've made myself hungry now.   I think I see a piece of Kringle in my near future, at least as soon as I can defrost a slice.  I froze the chocolate one, otherwise we would have eaten it already.

Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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