26 November 2007

Biologists Debate Relocating Imperiled Species

As global warming changes the face of habitats around the world, scientists are asking if humans can help save species from extinction by moving them to cooler climes. But before polar bear resettlement and tiger transports begin, is it time to take a look at easier alternatives?

Biologists Debate Relocating Imperiled Species

What's right? What's wrong? Who fucking knows

21 November 2007

Pineapple Pie

So, you are looking for something a touch different. Pineapple pie is like lemon meringue, only you use pineapple juice instead of lemon juice. If you like pineapple, you'll love this. You can use the pie crust recipe that is posted early with the sweet potato pie.

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tbls. flour
3/4 cup water
1 cup pineapple juice
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tbls. butter
1 9" pie crust

Bake crust for 10 min. at 350. Let cool completely.In a double boiler, mix all dry ingredients. Gradually stir in water, juice and eggs. Cook over low heat till thick.Pour into cooled crust. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole

There's nothing better than the smoothness of the sweet potatos and the contrasting crunch of the topping. I suppose you can make it heart healthy, I've not tried.

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 stick of butter
1 cup pet milk (evaporated milk)
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix well, pour into a 8x8 or 9x9 pan and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Make a topping of:
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

Mix this well and place on top of sweet potato mixture. Bake 15 minutes more.

20 November 2007

Banana Pudding

Ok, so, what's Thanksgiving (in the Southern states anyway) without some homemade banana pudding.

1/2 c sugar
1/3 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 c milk
2 egg yolks(reserve whites)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 box Nilla wafers
4-6 bananas - sliced

In a double boiler, mix sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in egg yolks. Stir in milk gradually so no lumps. Add vanilla.

Stir continually over heat until pudding is thick enough to hold its shape.

Layer in pan. Cookies, bananas, pudding.

Make a meringue with the whites, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of Cream of Tartar. Spread the meringue on top of the layered pudding.

Bake at 320F until browned.

18 November 2007

Future of our Food

This is one scary little video when you think about it. It's only 10 minutes long. Give it a look see.

This website discusses the entire film. It may be purchased or rented.

The Future of Food

Seriously, give the 10 minute version a look see.

Yay Italy

Thanks for just saying no to GMO's. This is a bandwagon EVERYONE should be jumping on.

Three million people "vote" to make Italy GM-free

More than 3 million Italians have signed a petition calling for Italy to ban all genetically modified foods, an alliance of food producers, consumers and environmental groups said on Tuesday.

Campaigners collected signatures at marketplaces and food fairs across the country over the last few months and hope the government will respond by banning all imports and cultivation of what they consider "Frankenstein foods."

"We gathered 3,086,524 votes, of which 3,068,958 (99.43%) were in favor of banning GMOs and 17,566 (0.57%) said no," said a spokesman for the campaign group "Italy Europe - Free from Genetic Modification."

Cornbread Dressing

Thanksgiving in the U.S. is just a few days away. So, here is my Chicken and Dressing recipe. I don't stuff the turkey and since it has chicken in it, it can be it's own main dish. This was my grandmother's recipe. She got it from her mom who probably got it from her mom and so on. The only difference is my grandmother switched to the ready made can of poultry seasoning whereas her mother used the actual herbs. There's nothing fancy about it, but I do believe that Alton Brown would call it Good Eats, so on with the show:

1 Large Baking Hen
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 large onion, rough chop
2 big horse carrots, rough chop
2 or 3 stalks of celery, rough chop
simmer until the meat falls off the bone, reserve stock, throw away bones and vegetables.

3 cups crumbled corn bread
2 1/2 cups crumbled toasted white bread
1-2 onions, chopped(I use 2 medium)
4-6 stalks celery, chopped
2 eggs
4-5 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
black pepper
poultry seasoning

Get a large roasting pan, add the corn bread, white bread, onions, and celery, mix it up. Add the chicken stock, a little at a time, till it resembles soup. Mix in the eggs and salt. After it is all mixed, take a can of black pepper and sprinkle evenly across the top of mixture. We like pepper and use it liberally. After this is added, stir it around. Take the can of poultry seasoning and do the same as with the black pepper. Mix in the chicken. Bake at 325F till dried to the consistency you want. If done right, there is no need for gravy as this is ohso moist.

15 November 2007

Christmas Cookies

I got this recipe from a YaYa. Don't know which one.

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies!! (Yumm Yumm)
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Sample the Cuervo to check quality.

Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again.

At this point, it is best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another cup, just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit; Pick the frigging fruit off the floor!

Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who giveshz a sheet.

Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.

Do not forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Cherry Mistmas!

Political Correctness run amok

Santas warned 'ho ho ho' offensive to women

Santas in Australia's largest city have been told not to use Father Christmas's traditional "ho ho ho" greeting because it may be offensive to women, it was reported Thursday.

Sydney's Santa Clauses have instead been instructed to say "ha ha ha" instead, the Daily Telegraph reported.

I do believe that this is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Politically correct bullshit does have its place, but come the phuk on. This is absolutely freaking ridiculous. Every damned word on this planet is offensive to someone. Shall we all go back to pictograms?

14 November 2007


Kolaches are everywhere in my part of the country. You may know them as kolace, kolacky, or kolach. They are a traditional Czechoslovakian pastry and quite a treat. When it contains meat, it is called a klobasnek. Unfortunately my camera is still on the fritz and will not hold a charge for anything, so I'm still not posting pictures.

Kolache Dough

2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, preferably Crisco
1/4 cup plus 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
melted butter, for topping
1 recipe creamy peach, prune, or poppy seed filling (follows)

In a small bowl combine the yeast with the lukewarm water; add a pinch of sugar as this helps the yeast grow. Set the bowl aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter, shortening, and 1/4 cup sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, milk, and salt, combining well. Stir in the dissolved yeast and the flour and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly blended into a soft dough. Cover the dough with a towel and set the dough aside to rise to about double in size, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

While the dough rises, choose and prepare one of the three fillings.

Grease a baking sheet. Pinch off pieces of dough about one-and-a-half times the size of a golf ball, flatten the balls slightly, and transfer them to the baking sheet. Place the balls at least 1 inch apart and brush them liberally with the melted butter. Set them aside to double in size again, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

With your thumb, gently indent the top of the dough to the depth of about 1/2 inch. Make the holes deeper for the poppy seed or creamy peach filling. Spoon in a couple of teaspoons of filling, and, with the poppy seed or creamy peach versions; coax the dough over the filling. Let the kolaches rest again for 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 º. Bake the kolaches for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven, immediately brush the kolaches with more butter, and sprinkle them with the remaining sugar. Transfer them to a rack and let them cool.

The kolaches should be tender, somewhat like a light buttery Danish. They are best eaten the day they are made. Makes 3 dozen.

Creamy Peach Filling
2 cups small-curd cottage cheese, drained in a sieve or cheesecloth for 30 to 45 minutes
1/2 cup peach butter (you may use any type butter if you prefer)
1 egg
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Squeeze any accumulated liquid from the cheese. Mix the cheese with the remaining ingredients.

Prune Filling
1 pound dried prunes
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Put the prunes in a saucepan and cover them with water. Add the vanilla and simmer until the prunes have softened, about 15 minutes. Drain and pit the prunes and chop them in a food processor with the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Or chop the prunes by hand and then add the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Poppy seed Filling
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups poppy seeds
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 teaspoon almond extract

Stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set the bowl aside.
Grind the poppy seeds in a blender with about half the milk. Place the poppy seed mixture and the remaining milk in a large, heavy saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the reserved sugar-and-cornstarch mixture and the almond extract. Simmer, stirring often, until very thick, a matter of a few minutes.

You can make kolaches with sausage or almost any type of cooked fruit filling. Don't use jelly, it's too runny and make sure that your fruit is cooked to fruit-butter consistency (think apple butter).

When using meat, these tend to do best when fully encased in the dough, think pig in the blanket or corn dog. I've also made them with sausage and cream gravy inside. Quite yummy. Ham and cheese, bacon and cheese, sausage and cheese are all great.

Take care when making the center depression to ensure that the bread does not go flat.
Cover your cheese-based fillings totally with dough.

Do not skimp on the amount of butter brushed on the dough.

10 November 2007


Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices known. The Bible references cinnamon and it was used in ancient Egypt as a beverage flavoring, medicine, and as an embalming agent. So treasured was cinnamon that it was more precious than gold. Cinnamon was also being used in China, being mentioned in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine, somewhere around 2,700 B.C. The popularity of this spice has continued throughout history. Cinnamon became one of the first commodities traded regularly between the Near East and Europe.

Cinnamon has unique healing abilities from essential oils found in its bark. These oils contain active components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol, plus a wide range of other volatile substances.

The cinnaldehyde in cinnamon helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood platelets. Cinnamon is also an anti-inflammatory. The essential oils also contribute to cinnamon being classified as an anti-microbial, helping to stop the growth of bacteria and fungi. Because of these anti-microbial qualities, it can also be used in preservation, heck; Egypt had that figured out long ago.

Cinnamon is also helpful in regards to blood sugar; slowing the rate the stomach empties itself, which helps to reduce the rise of blood sugar. Studies are ongoing, but there is no doubt that the addition of cinnamon to your daily diet helps. The US Agricultural Research Service and others have ongoing testing and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported in June 2007 on findings as well. There are many other ongoing tests so you know that researchers will be bombarding us with some wonderful news before long.

In addition to its essential oils, cinnamon is also an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese and a good source of dietary fiber, iron, and calcium. A 2 teaspoon serving (4.52 grams) has 12 calories, 38% of your daily manganese, 10% of your daily fiber, 9 ½ % of your daily iron and 5 ½ % of your daily calcium. So add some cinnamon to your diet, it's healthy and it tastes good too.

06 November 2007

Yummy berries

This sounds really good today. Perhaps it's the spring like weather.


1 1/2 boxes Ladyfingers
1 cup crème de cassis
2 pints strawberries
2 pints raspberries
2 pints blackberries
2 pints blueberries
2 cups sugar
2 quarts heavy cream
1 1/2 lbs. Mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar

Place all the berries in a large mixing bowl and stir in 2 cups of sugar. Allow the berries to marinate while you prepare the remainder of the dish. In another mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream and remaining sugar to stiff peaks form. Fold in the softened Mascarpone cheese. Set aside. Layer half of the Ladyfingers in a baking pan and drizzle with 4 ounces of crème de cassis. Layer half of the berries and juices over the moistened Ladyfingers. Spread half of the Mascarpone/whipped cream mixture over the berries and even out using a spatula. Repeat the process with Ladyfingers, cassis, berries, and whipped cream. Smooth out the top, cover, and refrigerate.

Now, if you want to get adventurous and make your own ladyfingers(this recipe makes about 80), here ya go:

3 ounces Cornstarch
4 ounces Bread flour
6 Egg yolks
6 ounces Granulated sugar
6 Egg whites
1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice

1. Sift the cornstarch and flour together.

2. Whip the egg yolks with 2 ounces (60 grams) of the sugar until thick and creamy.

3. Whip the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 2 ounces (60 grams) of the sugar and the lemon juice. Continue whipping to soft peaks, then add the remaining sugar gradually and whip to stiff peaks.

4. Fold approximately one-quarter of the egg whites into the whipped yolks to lighten them, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Fold in the flour mixture.

5. Place the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Pipe 4-inch- (10-centimeter) long cookies onto paper-lined sheet pans.

6. Bake immediately at 425°F (220°C) until lightly browned, approximately 8 minutes.

05 November 2007

Glorious sweet potatoes

So, I know yesterday's recipe is far from healthy, but you can certainly substitute healthier alternatives. I don't do that when it comes to dessert. So, how's about a little nutritional information on that glorious tuber the sweet potato.

First off, let us correct a pet peeve of mine. They are sweet potatoes, not yams. There is often much confusion between sweet potatoes and yams; the moist-fleshed, orange-colored root vegetable that is often called a yam is actually a sweet potato. The sweet potato is part of the Morning Glory family, while the Yam is in the Yam family. The Sweet Potato is smooth and has thin skin while the Yam is rough and scaly. The Sweet Potato is moist and sweet while the Yam is dry and starchy. The Sweet Potato has a high beta-carotene content, which gives it the orange color. The Yam has a low beta-carotene content that gives it a much whiter color.

Sweet Potatoes have recently been classified as an "antidiabetic" food. This label has been given because of some recent studies in which sweet potatos helped stabilize blood sugar levels and lowered insulin resistance. Some of its blood sugar regulatory properties may come from the fact that sweet potatoes are concentrated in carotenoids.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (beta-carotene) and a very good source of vitamin C; sweet potatoes have healing properties as an antioxidant food. Both beta-carotene and vitamin C are very powerful antioxidants that work in the body to eliminate free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that damage cells and cell membranes and are associated with the development of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, and colon cancer.

These nutrients are also anti-inflammatory and can be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions where inflammation plays a role, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, which is needed to convert homocysteine, an interim product created during an important chemical process in cells called methylation, into other benign molecules. High homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, so having a little extra vitamin B6 on hand is a good idea.

If you or someone you love is a smoker, or if you are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke, then making vitamin A-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes, part of your healthy way of eating, may save your life, suggests research conducted at Kansas State University.

While studying the relationship between vitamin A, lung inflammation, and emphysema, Richard Baybutt, associate professor of nutrition at Kansas State, made a surprising discovery: a common carcinogen in cigarette smoke, benzo(a)pyrene, induces vitamin A deficiency.

Earlier research had shown that laboratory animals fed a vitamin A-deficient diet developed emphysema. His latest animal studies indicate that not only does the benzo(a)pyrene in cigarette smoke cause vitamin A deficiency, but that a diet rich in vitamin A can help counter this effect, thus greatly reducing emphysema.

Baybutt believes vitamin A's protective effects may help explain why some smokers do not develop emphysema. "There are a lot of people who live to be 90 years old and are smokers," he said. How you might ask, well most likely this is because of their diet. If you or someone you love smokes, or if your work necessitates exposure to second hand smoke, you can give yourself some added protection by making sure your diet is rich in Vitamin A.

So, maybe that sweet potato pie recipe from yesterday is healthier than you think.

Nutritional Breakdown
1 sweet potato-baked with the skin has 96 calories.

Vitamin A 13107.70 IU 262% of your RDA
Vitamin C 17.06 mg 27% of your RDA
Manganese .52 mg 26% of your RDA
Copper .26 mg 13% of your RDA
Dietary Fiber 3.14 g 13% of your RDA
Vitamin B6 .25 mg 13% of your RDA
Potassium 306.05 mg 11% of your RDA
Iron 1.46 mg 10% of your RDA

04 November 2007

Sweet Potato Pie

Pie Crust

1/4 pound all-purpose flour
2 3/8 fluid ounces shortening, hydrogenated
1/8 cup ice water (1 to 1 1/4 cups)
1/8 ounce salt (1 1/2 tbsp)

1. Mix flour and shortening on low speed for 1 minute, using pastry knife or flat beater. Scrape sides of bowl and continue mixing until shortening is evenly distributed, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Dissolve salt in smaller amount of water (use reserved amount of water if needed). Add to flour mixture. Mix on low speed only until a dough is formed, about 40 seconds.

3. Portion into 9-oz balls for 9-inch pies.

1. Roll dough into a circle 2 inches larger than pie.

2. Fit pastry loosely into pan so that there are no air spaces between the crust and pan.

3. Trim, allowing 1/2 inch extra to build up edge.

4. For custard-type pie, crimp edge, add filling, and bake according to the recipe.

Sweet Potato Filling

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 cups) --Note, when using fresh sweet potatoes, pick the long skinny ones, not as stringy as the fatter ones.

2 tablespoons softened butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

6 ounces evaporated milk

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons allspice

1-9" pie crust

If using fresh potatoes, bake at 375F until tender. When cooled enough to pick up, peel skin off. Bake pie crust at 350 for 15-20 minutes or till set. Mash potates. Add all ingredients, mixed thoroughly. Pour into shell. Bake 45-60 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean at 350.