Homemade light whipped butter

I’m stealing this from a friend’s FB page so it doesn’t get lost. Homemade light whipped butter:

This has less saturated fat and cholesterol than butter, fewer calories, it spreads, and it’s cheaper than comparable prepared spreads. It’s also delicious.

1/4 cup (four tablespoons) butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
1/4 cup neutral-tasting oil, such as canola, grapeseed, etc.
1/4 cup Greek yogurt at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
drops of warm water as necessary

Make sure everything’s at room temp. A stand mixer works best, but you need at least an electric hand mixer. Whip butter on high for two minutes. Scrape bowl. Whip on high while slowly pouring in oil. Add salt. Continue to let whip for five minutes (really, all the way on high). Add yogurt while whipping a bit at a time. Use drops of warm water to soften if the mixture is clumping.

Let whip on KitchenAid mixer high setting for at least 10 minutes. Just walk away from it.

When thoroughly whipped until the barest soft peaks form, scrape into a bowl and refrigerate. For best taste serve in a mid-century pressed-glass refrigerator butter dish.

Pub Italia

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The Pub Italia is the People’s Church of beer & wine.

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It’s thoroughly decorated inside.

 

 

 

Corn roast

Thanks to the hospitality of an old friend, we were invited to a corn roast to celebrate the ripening of the first corn. Here you can see the pot of corn boiling over a well contained basin of fire.

A basin of fire illuminates a pot hanging from a tripod

 

Mark Bittman’s soups

Mark Bittman, if I recall correctly, wrote the big book called How to Cook Evrything, which came in a yellow stand-up binder. Now he’s back with how to make the four basic kinds of soups.

And you’ll need no special techniques, no advance preparation and, for the most part, not much time. You can use just about any vegetable (or bean) you have on hand. These are not stone soups, but they’re close.

I’ve [Mark has] created four essential categories: creamy (vegetables puréed with dairy); brothy (a strained vegetable stock, with quick-cooking ingredients added); earthy (with beans); and hearty (the vegetables sautéed first, to deepen their flavor).

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Nice dinner

We’re re-doing our meal plan and adding different, healthy meals. The other night, the SO cooked to recipes for the first time in years. We had brown rice, microwaved salmon with herbs, and mashed acorn squash. Everything was delicious. It was even ready more or less at the same time, which always seems like the tricky part to me.

As part of this change, I’m having healthy breakfasts instead of just skipping them.

Dragon cake

This looks too pretty to eat.
awesome photos  - Delicious Dragon Cake!
see more Epic Win FTW

At a guess, it uses a lot of the structural-strength icing that’s a “secret” of famous bakers. I think it’s called “royal icing”. There are more images here.

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White Fruit Cake

For a 2.5 pound cake use one of these, filled to about 2.5 inches:

  • An 8″ ring mold.  Line the bottom with a ring of greased waxed paper and place an ungreased strip around the side.
  • A 4.5″ x 8.5″ loaf pan. Line with parchment paper or waxed paper for easy lifting of the cake.

Fruit cakes in general:

  • Ingredients should be about room temperature. Liquids should be about 75 F. Butter to be creamed should be about 70 F.
  • Dip knife or scissors in water when cutting up dried fruits.
  • Add sugar gradually while creaming.
  • If adding egg yolks and whites separately:
    • Add beaten egg yolk gradually or add yolks whole and beat thoroughly.
    • Beat egg whites just before adding until they are stiff but not dry. Fold & cut them in gently but quickly.
  • Add sifted dry ingredients and the liquids alternately, starting with dry, in about three lots each.
  • Blend gently after flour is added, so as not to develop the gluten, but continue blending until flour is no longer dry (about 2 minutes medium speed on a blender or 200 strokes if hand-mixing for a double-acting baking powder or about 80 seconds/120 for single-action).

Preparation:

Cut up and set aside  4 cups of nuts and fruits, e.g. for ordinary fruit cake,

  • 1.5 cups pecans or hickory nuts
  • 1.5 cups white raisins
  • 1.5 cups seeded and chopped preserved kumquats or cherries

Work steps:

1.   You need  4 cups of chopped nuts and fruits. For white fruit cake, use

    • 1 cup chopped nut meats, e.g. blanched, slivered almonds
    • 1/2 cup finely sliced citron, candied orange/lemon peel
    • 1 cup white raisins
    • 1/4 cup chopped candied pineapple
    • 1/4 cup chopped candied cherries
    • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

2.      Sift, then measure 4 cups all-purpose flour.

3.      Reserve 1/2 cup flour. Mix it with the nuts and fruits.

4.      Re-sift the remaining 3.5 cup of flour with

    • 1 tsp. double-acting baking powder
    • 2/2 tsp. salt

5.      Cream until light, 3/4 cup butter.

6.      Then cream it with 2 cups sugar.

7.      Beat in, one at a time, 5 eggs.

8.      Add 1 tsp. vanilla and continue to beat until light.

9.      Stir the flour mixture into the butter/sugar/egg mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed.

10.   Fold in the floured nuts and fruit.

11.   Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 1 hour. Grease only the bottoms of pans, not the sides.

12.   Cool fruit cakes on a rack for 20 – 30 minutes while still in the pan. Then lift them out and let cool in the foil or parchment until entirely cool.

13.   Optional: glaze with light sugar syrup and decorate with nut meats and candied fruit

To store, wrap in brandy-soaked linens and then in aluminum foil and place in a tightly covered container in a cool place.