#BUNDTBAKERS BACON CHEDDAR BEER BUNDT

If you want a quick loaf of pure delicious, this is the one. Easy, fast and you probably have all the ingredients on hand.

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Okay, here it is in a nutshell:  take 1 bowl, 1 spoon, a few pantry ingredients, some bacon bits, a beer, and some freshly shredded cheese {never already shredded cheese that’s been coated with cellulose} and there you have it, Bob’s your uncle. A beautiful savory loaf.  Just add more butter.  Yum!

#BUNDTBAKERS BACON CHEDDAR BEER BUNDT
Print Recipe
Easy, cheesy, tasty loaf of goodness to accompany your evening meal whipped together in about 30 minutes. It takes more time gathering the ingredients than making the loaf.
Servings Prep Time
1 Loaf 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 Minutes approximately 5 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 Loaf 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 Minutes approximately 5 Minutes
#BUNDTBAKERS BACON CHEDDAR BEER BUNDT
Print Recipe
Easy, cheesy, tasty loaf of goodness to accompany your evening meal whipped together in about 30 minutes. It takes more time gathering the ingredients than making the loaf.
Servings Prep Time
1 Loaf 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 Minutes approximately 5 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 Loaf 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 Minutes approximately 5 Minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups Flour King Arthur All Purpose
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt Kosher
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar Castor sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheese Sharp cheddar or a mix of leftover cheeses
  • 1 Twelve Ounce Beer Your favorite brand
  • 1/3 Cup bacon Cooked till crisp and chopped into bits
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter Melted
Servings: Loaf
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare bundt pan by generously greasing with baking spray or use your own "bakers joy".
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar with a whisk.
  3. Make a well in the center and add bacon bits, the shredded cheese and a full 12 oz. beer. Stir well until combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the bundt pan.
  5. Drizzle with 1 Tablespoon melted butter and bake for approximately 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and drizzle with more melted butter over the top. Return to oven and bake an additional 25 ~ 30 minutes or until browned on top and loaf thumps when you tap the top.
  7. Remove to a wire rack for cooling for about 5 minutes. Turn loaf out and brush with additional butter. Best served fresh and warm with lots more butter.
Recipe Notes

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This is a simple, easy and very delicious loaf you can  have on your table in about 90 minutes with very little effort.  It's also a good time to use up bits of different cheeses you may already have leftover in your fridge.  This savory treat would nicely accompany a salad or for brunch or dinner.                               This was adapted from a bread recipe at The Slow Roasted Italian.  💜

Just a quick note of thanks to Padmaja Sureshbabu of Seduceyourtastebuds.com for your clever theme, Savory Bundts.  I had a hard time deciding which one to choose.  This particular bundt looked like something everyone would enjoy.  Thanks Padmaja!

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our <a href="http://www.foodlustpeoplelove.com/p/bundtbakers.html">home page</a>.

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LINK LIST

BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

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WHY DO WE KEEP OUR EGGS UNDER REFRIGERATION WHEN OTHER COUNTRIES SET THEM OUT ON A COUNTER

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Visit most U.S. supermarkets or home kitchens and you’ll see eggs in a refrigerator –not sitting on the counter in some basket.

Not so in Asia or Europe where eggs are eggs left out to sit unrefrigerated and sold at room temperature. What’s the deal?

Are we needless wasting energy by putting our eggs in the fridge or are other countries using unsanitary practices?

The answer, according to NPR’s The Salt, comes down to how chicken farmers handle eggs from the moment it comes out of the chicken and a difference of opinion on bacteria proliferation.

Americans, Japanese, Australians and Scandinavians wash eggs right after they are laid with soap and hot water. This creates a cleaner shell but also removes a barely-visible protective layer that naturally helps guard the fragile egg interior from harmful environmental factors such as oxygen and bacteria, such as the ones that cause salmonella.

In the U.S., the eggs shells, which are porous, are then sprayed with oil and refrigerated to improve shelf life and guard against contamination.

In the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began requiring egg producers to wash their eggs, though many countries banned the practice since it is easy to do it incorrectly. Eggs contaminated by salmonella cause a reported 142,000 illnesses each year, according to the FDA. Many European countries vaccinate their chickens against the virus, which can infect the chicken’s ovaries, according to The Salt, but the practice is not required in the U.S.

So which method is better? Should we leave our chicken alone?

“They’re different approaches to basically achieve the same result,” Vincent Guyonnet, a poultry veterinarian and scientific adviser to the International Egg Commission, told The Salt.

“We don’t have massive [food safety] issues on either side of the Atlantic. Both methods seem to work.”

Although eggs do stay fresh longer with refrigeration—50 days versus 21 without– Guyonnet says consistency is the most important thing to keep in mind.

In countries where refrigeration is costly, the wash-less method may be a more effective means of preservation to avoid a rapid temperature change that creates sweaty, moldy eggs.

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WHAT IS THE DIFERRENCE BETWEEN WHITE AND BROWN EGGS

 

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There are all sorts of rumours surrounding brown eggs and white eggs. Some people say that brown eggs are better for you and contain more nutrients; some people think brown eggs taste better; some think that brown eggs are better for cooking things like quiches, while white eggs are better for baking cakes (or vice versa, depending on who you talk to).

We here at Today I Found Out are all about uncovering the truth amongst all of the myths, and so here is the fascinating difference between brown eggs and white eggs:

Brown eggs are brown. White eggs are white.

Seriously, brown or white, they are the same on the inside, with one minor caveat which we’ll get to in a minute that has nothing to do with whether the chicken is a brown egg layer or white. But besides that caveat, a brown egg or a white egg will give you the same amount of nutrition, they taste the same, and they are equally delicious in quiches and cakes.

The two also have more or less the same shell thickness. The differences in shell thickness that you may have observed likely has to do with the age of the chicken- young chickens lay eggs with shells that are typically harder than older chickens’ eggs, but this is true for both white and brown egg layers.

How the rumours started about brown eggs being “better” is thought to be because they are often more expensive at supermarkets. If something costs more, it has to be better quality or better for you, right? Not in this case (and not in many others either- increasing the price of something, sometimes drastically, is an occasionally used marketing trick to get people to think one product is better than a comparable cheaper product. Sometimes that’s true, but many times it’s not.)

As for egg prices, brown eggs cost more in part because the hens that lay them usually eat more, which means the hens cost more to keep per egg. You see, white eggs are most often laid by white or light coloured hens with white ear lobes, while brown eggs are most often laid by red-feathered or brown / dark-feathered chickens with red ear lobes. (This is not a universal truth, just a general rule. Further, the chicken’s ear lobes are really the indicator here, not the feathers, but there is a very strong correlation between ear lobe colour and feather colour, so feather colour can be a decent indicator too. Ultimately, egg colour is determined by genetics, but the ear-lobe / feather colour thing is a good, though slightly flawed indicator.)

In the end, red-lobed chickens tend to be larger than their white-lobed counterparts, which is why they eat more. The farmers need to get reimbursed for the extra feed somehow, so they up the price of the brown eggs.

This also explains why white eggs tend to be more popular in supermarkets. White-lobed chickens cost less for farmers to keep, which leads to cheaper eggs, which leads to grocers buying more white eggs to put on the shelves to offer this product cheaper to customers. White eggs are simply more cost-effective.

There is also a commonly touted myth that brown eggs taste better, and that’s why they’re more expensive. As noted, this white egg / brown egg taste difference is a myth.

But the potential difference in taste from one egg to another does lead us to our one caveat, though it isn’t anything to do with the colour of the egg—rather, it has to do with the chicken’s diet. Many chickens raised at home are brown-egg layers, while most of the chickens raised for commercial use are white-egg layers. The different diets affect the taste of the eggs and even the colour of the yolk, similar to how diet can drastically affect the taste of the meat of some animal.

However, if you were to take one of those brown egg-laying chickens and raise it on the same food as a white egg laying chicken, their eggs would taste the same and be otherwise indistinguishable aside from the colour of the shell. If their diets are the same, the yolks will even be identical in colour. Today, chickens raised for commercial purposes, whether layers of white eggs or brown, are all getting fed the same thing, with perhaps just a slight variance from company to company. If you’ve had some brown eggs from a neighbor or a chicken of your own that’s fed a different diet than commercially fed chickens eat, then there may be a difference in taste. It just doesn’t have anything to do with the colour of the egg.

So, if brown egg-laying chickens are more expensive to feed and to keep, why do farmers keep them around? The answer is that so many people buy into the “brown eggs are better” myth that brown eggs are still a viable business option. As long as people keep buying the more expensive eggs and are willing to pay marked up prices beyond factoring in the extra feed, farmers will keep raising chickens that lay them.

Of course, these days some of the most hotly debated arguments aren’t over white vs. brown eggs, but over the superior quality of organic vs. not organic eggs, or free range vs. cage eggs. While differences in diet can affect the taste, if you’re wondering about quality of the egg or nutritional value, a study done by D.R. Jones et al. through the Agricultural Research Service and published in Poultry Science in 2010 found that, ultimately, there is very little difference in the quality of eggs produced in these different ways. The small differences they did find “varied without one egg type consistently maintaining the highest or lowest values.”

So, in the end, while there are small ways the composition and taste of chicken eggs can be influenced, the colour of the egg shell isn’t one of them. 💜

Article from Today I Found Out, February 17, 2014

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WHY DO AMERICANS REFRIGERATE THEIR EGGS AND MOST OTHER COUNTRIES DON’T

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How long do eggs last unrefrigerated?

In supermarkets across the United States, Australia, and Japan, eggs can be found in the refrigerated section alongside other cold items such as milk and cheese. However, in most other countries of the world, eggs can be found stored at room temperature alongside nonperishable food items. People eat both kinds of eggs every day, usually without any ill effects. So why do some people refrigerate eggs and others don’t? The answer lies in the bacteria group known as salmonella and how a particular country chooses to make sure their eggs don’t get contaminated with it.

Salmonella enters eggs through one of two ways- via contaminating the egg internally before the hen lays it (when a hen’s ovaries have been infected); or via the porous egg shell (when an egg comes in contact with contaminated matter such as chicken manure).

Egg producers in the United States address the salmonella problem with eggs by concentrating on preventing the bacteria from entering through the shell. Towards this end, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandates that all eggs be washed with water at a minimum temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and at least 20 degrees warmer than the internal temperature of the egg at the time of washing. (If it were colder than the egg, this could result in a very slight contraction, sucking in contaminated water through the shell’s pores).

The eggs will also be washed with some form of detergent and chemical sanitizer like chlorine, then are rinsed again and thoroughly dried- the latter further helping make sure pathogens can’t easily find their way through the egg’s thousands of pores. After this, the eggs are often sprayed with some form of protective coating like mineral oil. Finally, the eggs are taken into a room where they are stored at temperatures at or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

This effectively deals with the external sources of salmonella (and helps ensure you won’t accidentally contaminate other foods with salmonella from touching a contaminated egg shell then touching other items as you prepare food). However, this does nothing to destroy any salmonella potentially already present within the egg. This is where the refrigeration comes in. By keeping the eggs sufficiently cold, it mostly makes sure any salmonella present will not multiply sufficiently to cause problems given a couple month shelf life, keeping the eggs safe to eat so long as they are cooked.

Even for those eggs not internally contaminated with salmonella, it’s still best to keep them refrigerated if they have previously been. As scientific adviser to the International Egg Commission Vincent Guyonnet notes, “Once you start refrigeration, you have to have it through the whole value chain, from farm to store. Because if you stop — if the eggs are cold and you put them in a warm environment — they’re going to start sweating.” The United Egg Producers Association further notes that condensation on egg shells “facilitates the growth of bacteria that could contaminate the egg.”

So why aren’t Europeans and others who don’t refrigerate their eggs getting food poisoning left and right from eating contaminated eggs? They rely on other methods to keep the salmonella problem in check and don’t refrigerate them at any point, though because of the sweating and contraction issues with significant temperature changes, they do recommend eggs be stored in transport and by supermarkets at specific temperatures- in the winter between 66.2 – 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit (19 – 21 degrees Celsius) and in the summer between 69.8 – 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit (21 – 23 degrees Celsius).

For starters, the European Union prohibits egg producers from washing their eggs. You see, shells have natural protection from salmonella and other contaminants via a waxy substance known as the cuticle. The cuticle coats the shell initially as a liquid when a hen lays the egg and then dries within minutes of being exposed to the air. Egg washing, when done properly, may eliminate surface contaminants, but it also washes away the cuticle and its natural protection, potentially allowing bacteria to get into the egg via its pores or hairline cracks.

Both methods of eliminating external contaminants are quite effective, but the washing strategy requires that the eggs are processed in a very precise way to be effective. If, for instance, eggs are allowed to sit in dirty washing water too long after losing the cuticle, this would be an ideal situation for microbes to quickly infect the inside of the eggs. Thus, the EU and others deem it safer to cut out the potentially error-prone middle man and simply leave the cuticle on.

Of course, by not washing the eggs at all, the occasional egg with feces and other such things will pop up (the egg being laid via the same hole the chicken poops through and the laying area potentially not being perfectly clean). But the fact that visibly dirty eggs will most definitely turn off some customers and that European Union egg farmers aren’t allowed to wash the eggs is actually seen as a net-positive by some. For instance, Britain’s Egg Industry Council’s Chief Executive Mark Williams states of this, “In Europe, the understanding is that [prohibiting the washing and cleaning of eggs] actually encourages good husbandry on farms. It’s in the farmer’s best interests then to produce the cleanest eggs possible, as no one is going to buy their eggs if they’re dirty.”

Unfortunately, in this scenario you’ll still get the occasional egg with fecal matter or the like on it. This also increases the chances of cross contamination with handling the potentially contaminated egg shells and then perhaps touching other food items without washing your hands. But both of these problems are easily solved by simply washing the eggs (and your hands) directly before using them.

This “do nothing” method also saves an amazing amount of effort and cost in the processing of the eggs. It’s also a superior method of keeping eggs as safe as possible in areas where end customers don’t necessarily have refrigerators, as well as helps minimize the risk of egg contamination if a customer has a long drive home from the supermarket, which potentially allows the cold egg shells to form condensation giving pathogens easier access to the inside.

So, the cuticle solves the problem of external sources contaminating the inside of the egg, but how does the EU and other countries that don’t refrigerate their eggs deal with eggs that were contaminated while being formed inside the chicken? They mandate that their egg laying chickens must be vaccinated against salmonella, among other requirements, if they are to receive the Lion Quality Code of Practice seal. The result of this is that approximately 90% of chicken eggs sold in Britain come from vaccinated hens, with the other 10% coming from small farmers who don’t typically sell eggs through major retailers.

So which way of storing eggs produces fewer cases of salmonella induced food poisoning? As the aforementioned Vincent Guyonnet notes: “They’re different approaches to basically achieve the same result… We don’t have massive [food safety] issues on either side of the Atlantic. Both methods seem to work.”

But what about the numbers? In that, there seems to have never been any definitive studies (at least that I could find), but it would seem on the surface that the European method is the winner. (Though there are uncontrolled factors that could potentially be skewing the numbers, so take this with a very large grain of salt.) On average, there are approximately 142,000 cases of egg-related salmonella poisoning in the United States every year according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is approximately 1 in 2,200 people infected every year (give or take depending on whether an individual is a repeat offender in a given year). In contrast, in England and Wales in 2009, there were just 581 cases of egg-related salmonella poisoning, or about 1 in 95,000. Notably, before the British started vaccinating their chickens in the late 1990s in response to a major egg-induced salmonella outbreak, in 1997 there were 14,771 cases of egg related salmonella poisoning in England and Wales, or 1 in 3,700.

You might then be wondering why it simply isn’t mandated that United States egg producers vaccinate their chickens. This is primarily because when the last batch of rules concerning this very thing were put together, the limited number of large sample-size studies available indicated vaccination wasn’t an effective way to stop the internal contamination of salmonella in eggs. More recent vaccination methods and studies have produced entirely different results. Because of this, and the fact that henhouses and eggs are now being continually tested for salmonella contamination (with a positive result meaning the egg farmer must break all the eggs open from a batch and pasteurize them, leading to significant profit loss), approximately one-third to one-half of all egg producers in the United States have voluntarily begun vaccinating their chickens. This voluntary adoption of vaccinations was also spurred on in response to a 2010 egg-related salmonella poisoning outbreak in the United States resulting in half a billion eggs needing recalled. To avoid such problems, more and more U.S. egg farmers are jumping on board the hen vaccination train every year.

In the end, while there are pros and cons of each method of keeping eggs contaminate free, both have proven extremely effective when properly executed, though seemingly the European method has a large edge in terms of keeping people from getting sick. However, if you’ve got a refrigerator handy, it is superior in one regard- eggs that are not refrigerated have a shelf life of about three weeks. Those stored in a typical consumer’s refrigerator are generally good for about two months, and drastically longer given better regulated temperatures, something that used to be key to keeping eggs on the supermarket shelves year round.

You see, naturally most chickens will stop laying eggs in the winter as a response to shorter daylight hours. (There is a photo-receptive gland in a chicken’s eye that, when exposed to sufficient light, ultimately triggers the release of the hormone that in turn spurs egg production when present in sufficient quantities in the hen.) This created an egg supply problem that used to be solved by egg farmers in the United States via keeping the eggs at the perfect, constant chilled temperature not found in your normal consumer refrigerator which is regularly being opened and closed. This allowed egg producers to store eggs for as much as a year according to United Egg Producers’ Vice President of Government Relations, Howard Magwire. Today, of course, the problem is somewhat controversially solved with artificial light and strictly controlled egg production environments with the egg finding its way from hen to customer generally in under a couple weeks, regardless of what time of year it is.💜

Article from Today I Found Out, Feed Your Brain,

November 20, 2015

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VEAL PARMESAN SANDWICH {without so much veal}

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I’ve never liked it when people  get on their soapbox and dictate how others must live their lives in order to be “acceptable”, so I won’t do that.  But,  I refuse to purchase veal in any form because of the general mistreatment of the young calves and their living conditions.  If you love it, I say enjoy, it’s just not for me.

Instead, we use turkey breast cutlets, pound them out to make them thinner and more tender.  Then, we bread the cutlets, fry them in a small amount of olive oil and build the sandwich.  Its an easy recipe and is a little messy to prepare but WELL worth it.

VEAL PARMESAN SANDWICH {without the veal}
Print Recipe
Beautiful turkey cutlets, breaded and fried in a small amount of olive oil. Then, the yummy cutlets are placed on an Italian sandwich roll, with added grated Parmesan and Italian pasta sauce. DEE~LICIOUS.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 5 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 5 Minutes
VEAL PARMESAN SANDWICH {without the veal}
Print Recipe
Beautiful turkey cutlets, breaded and fried in a small amount of olive oil. Then, the yummy cutlets are placed on an Italian sandwich roll, with added grated Parmesan and Italian pasta sauce. DEE~LICIOUS.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 5 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 5 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Mix parmesan, Italian breadcrumbs and salt and pepper to taste. Remember the herbs and additional seasonings are already in the Italian breadcrumbs. This is the dredging mix.
Dredging Station
  1. Ive found that it's best to set up 3 dredging pie pans. In 1 pan add flour and salt and pepper; in a second pan, make the egg wash, and in the third pan, mix the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
Prepare the turkey cutlets
  1. Place each cutlet between two pieces of waxed paper and pound until about 1/8 inch thick. You want them fairly thin so they cook up quickly.
  2. Set up a dredging station: flour, egg wash, and seasoned breadcrumbs and grated cheese. First dredge the cutlet in the flour on both sides, dust off excess flour; Next, dip into the egg wash on both sides; Then, dredge in the bread crumbs with Parmesan
Fry the cutlets
  1. Heat cast iron skillet, give it a light spray of Pam then add a small amount of olive oil. Enough to cover the surface of the pan.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the cutlets, one at a time. After pounding, the cutlets grow in size so you'll only be able to cook 2 or 3 at a time. Brown on both sides, then drain on paper towels.
  3. While you are frying the cutlets, heat your favorite pasta sauce in a separate pan.
Assemble the sandwich
  1. Slice the Italian roll vertically, spread a bit of sauce on the bottom; Add the fried cutlets after cutting into appropriate slices to fit the roll. Now, spread a small amount of sauce on top of the cutlet, top with additional grated cheese, add the top of the roll and serve.
  2. I like mine cut on an angle and served along with a small bowl of additional sauce for dipping and additional grated cheese handy to add more if you like. We don't serve anything on the side because the sandwich is quite filling. A small salad would go nicely with it.
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CANDIED MEYER LEMONS {or other citrus}

There’s nothing as important than final plating and garnish. Just about everyone enjoys candied citrus, as a garnish or ingredient. Everyone who cooks or bakes needs to have a go~to recipe for candied citrus. Here, are the instructions to make candied Meyer Lemons. You can adjust the recipe for other citrus.

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CANDIED MEYER LEMONS {or other citrus}
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 Containers 1 Hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 1/2 Hours 20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Containers 1 Hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 1/2 Hours 20 Minutes
CANDIED MEYER LEMONS {or other citrus}
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 Containers 1 Hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 1/2 Hours 20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Containers 1 Hours
Cook Time Passive Time
1 1/2 Hours 20 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Containers
Instructions
  1. Slice the lemons very thin, remove seeds
  2. Prepare a bowl with ice water and ice cubes
  3. Boil the slices for 1 minute, remove from boiling water and plunge into the ice water for a few minutes. Drain well
  4. In a skillet or other heavy bottomed pan bring sugar and 2 cups of water to a steady simmer. Continue simmering and stirring until the sugar is dissolved completely.
  5. Add lemon slices and continue to just simmer for about one hour or until the rinds are translucent.
  6. Cool on a wire rack. Then put in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. The lemons should be used within a month or so.
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SABLES vs BISCUITS vs COOKIES

Hardtack
Hardtack

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Cookie or “Biscuit”

The introduction of the baking of processed cereals including the creation of flour provided a more reliable source of food. Egyptian sailors carried a flat, brittle loaf of millet bread called dhourra cake, while the Romans had a biscuit called buccellum. Roman cookbook Apicius describes: “a thick paste of fine wheat flour was boiled and spread out on a plate. When it had dried and hardened, it was cut up and then fried until crisp, then served with honey and pepper.”

Hard biscuits soften as they age. To solve this problem, early bakers attempted to create the hardest biscuit possible. Because it is so hard and dry, if properly stored and transported, navies’ hardtack will survive rough handling and high temperature. Baked hard, it can be kept without spoiling for years as long as it is kept dry. For long voyages, hardtack was baked four times, rather than the more common two. To soften hardtack for eating, it was often dunked in brine, coffee, or some other liquid or cooked into a skillet meal.

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The American biscuit is soft and flaky like a scone; whereas British biscuits are drier and often crunchy.  Biscuit is a term used for a variety of baked, commonly flour-based food products. The term is applied to two distinct products in North America and the Commonwealth of Nations and Europe.

In Commonwealth English and Hiberno-English, a biscuit is a small baked product that would be called either a “cookie” or a “cracker” in the United States and sometimes a “cookie” in English-speaking Canada.   Biscuits in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and Ireland are hard, and may be savoury or sweet, such as chocolate biscuits, digestives, hobnobs, ginger nuts, rich tea, bourbons and custard creams. In the Commonwealth Nations and Ireland, the term “cookie” typically refers to only one type of biscuit (chocolate chip cookie); however, it may also locally refer to specific types of biscuits or breads.

In the United States and some parts of English Canada, a “biscuit” is a quick bread, somewhat similar to a scone, and usually unsweetened. Leavening is achieved through the use of baking powder or when using buttermilk baking soda. Biscuits are usually referred to as either “baking powder biscuits” or “buttermilk biscuits” if buttermilk is used rather than milk as a liquid. A Southern regional variation using the term “beaten biscuit” (or in New England “sea biscuit”) is closer to hardtack than soft dough biscuits.

Early biscuits were hard, dry, and unsweetened. They were most often cooked after bread, in a cooling bakers’ oven; they were a cheap form of sustenance for the poor.   By the seventh century AD, cooks of the Persian empire had learnt from their forebears the techniques of lightening and enriching bread-based mixtures with eggs, butter, and cream, and sweetening them with fruit and honey.  One of the earliest spiced biscuits was gingerbread, in French pain d’épices, meaning “spice bread”, brought to Europe in 992 by the Armenian monk Grégoire de Nicopolis. He left Nicopolis Pompeii, of Lesser Armenia to live in Bondaroy, France, near the town of Pithiviers. He stayed there for seven years, and taught French priests and Christians how to cook gingerbread.  This was originally a dense, treaclely (molasses-based) spice cake or bread. As it was so expensive to make, early ginger biscuits were a cheap form of using up the leftover bread mix.

With the combination of the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, and then the Crusades developing the spice trade, the cooking techniques and ingredients of Arabia spread into Northern Europe.  By mediaeval times, biscuits were made from a sweetened, spiced paste of breadcrumbs and then baked (e.g., gingerbread), or from cooked bread enriched with sugar and spices and then baked again.  King Richard I of England (aka Richard the Lionheart) left for the Third Crusade (1189–92) with “biskit of muslin”, which was a mixed corn compound of barley, rye, and bean flour.

As the making and quality of bread had been controlled to this point, so were the skills of biscuit-making through the craft guilds.   As the supply of sugar began, and the refinement and supply of flour increased, so did the ability to sample more leisurely foodstuffs, including sweet biscuits. Early references from the Vadstena monastery show how the Swedish nuns were baking gingerbread to ease digestion in 1444.   The first documented trade of gingerbread biscuits dates to the 16th century, where they were sold in monastery pharmacies and town square farmers markets. Gingerbread became widely available in the 18th century. The British biscuit firms of McVitie’s, Carr’s, Huntley & Palmer, and Crawfords were all established by 1850.

Most modern biscuits can trace their origins back to either the hardtack ship’s biscuit, or the creative art of the baker.   Biscuits today can be savoury or sweet, but most are small at around 5 cm (2.0 in) in diameter, and flat. The term biscuit also applies to sandwich-type biscuits, wherein a layer of “creme” or icing is sandwiched between two biscuits, such as the custard cream, or a layer of jam (as in biscuits which, in the United Kingdom, are known as “Jammie Dodgers”)

In Britain, the digestive biscuit and rich tea have a strong cultural identity as the traditional accompaniment to a cup of tea, and are regularly eaten as such. Many tea drinkers “dunk” their biscuits in tea, allowing them to absorb liquid and soften slightly before consumption.  The best selling biscuit brand in the UK, McVitie’s biscuits are the most popular biscuits to dunk in tea, with McVitie’s chocolate digestives, Rich tea and Hobnobs ranked the nation’s top three favourite biscuits in 2009.

Savoury biscuits or crackers (such as cream crackers, water biscuits, oatcakes, or crisp breads) are usually plainer and commonly eaten with cheese following a meal. Many savoury biscuits also contain additional ingredients for flavour or texture, such as poppy seeds, onion or onion seeds, cheese (such as cheese melts), and olives. Savoury biscuits also usually have a dedicated section in most European supermarkets, often in the same aisle as sweet biscuits. The exception to savoury biscuits is the sweetmeal digestive known as the “Hovis biscuit”, which, although slightly sweet, is still classified as a cheese biscuit.   Savoury biscuits sold in supermarkets are sometimes associated with a certain geographical area, such as Scottish oatcakes or Cornish wafer biscuits.

In general, the British, Australians, South Africans, New Zealanders, Nigerians, Kenyans, Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Singaporeans and the Irish use the British meaning of “biscuit” for the sweet biscuit, the terms biscuit and cookie are used interchangeably, depending on the region and the speaker, with biscuits usually referring to hard, sweet biscuits (such as digestives, Nice, Bourbon creams, etc.) and cookies for soft baked goods (i.e. chocolate chip cookies).   In Canada this term is now used less frequently, usually with imported brands of biscuits or in the Maritimes; however the Canadian Christie Biscuits referred to what Americans would call crackers.   This sense is at the root of the name of the United States’ most prominent maker of cookies and crackers, the National Biscuit Company, now called Nabisco.

A biscuit in the United States and parts of Canada, and widely used in popular American English, is a small bread with a firm browned crust and a soft interior. They are made with baking powder or baking soda as a chemical leavening agent rather than yeast although they can also be made using yeast (and are then called angel biscuits) or a sourdough starter.   They are traditionally served as a side dish with a meal. As a breakfast item they are often eaten with butter and a sweet condiment such as molasses, light sugarcane syrup, maple syrup, sorghum syrup, honey, or fruit jam or jelly. With other meals they are usually eaten with butter or gravy instead of sweet condiments. However, biscuits and gravy (biscuits covered in country gravy) or biscuits with sausage are usually served for breakfast, sometimes as the main course. A biscuit may also be used to make a breakfast sandwich by slicing it in half and placing eggs and/or breakfast meat in the middle.

~Wikipedia~

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#BundtBakers ~ The Blue Djinn of Babylon Persian Cardamom Bundt Cake

When I heard that our new theme was “One Thousand and One Nights”, I immediately conjured up visions of beautiful flying carpets, magic lamps and wise~cracking Djinn and genies . This is a one~off Persian, Cardamom and Orange cake adapted from Amy Glaze at Amy Glaze’s Pommes d’Amour. Thank you Amy for this fabulous cake which was adjusted only a little.

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#BundtBakers ~ The Blue Djinn of Babylon Persian Cardamom Bundt Cake
Print Recipe
A beautiful, aromatic Bundt that will tantalize your senses with new and exciting flavor and aromas.
Servings Prep Time
10 ~ 12 People 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 - 60 Minutes 60 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 ~ 12 People 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 - 60 Minutes 60 Minutes
#BundtBakers ~ The Blue Djinn of Babylon Persian Cardamom Bundt Cake
Print Recipe
A beautiful, aromatic Bundt that will tantalize your senses with new and exciting flavor and aromas.
Servings Prep Time
10 ~ 12 People 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 - 60 Minutes 60 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 ~ 12 People 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 - 60 Minutes 60 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and grease and flour Bundt pan or two 8 inch round baking pans or use Bakers Joy
  2. In a small mixing bowl sift together cake flour, salt, baking powder, cardamom, and saffron
  3. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter adding the sugar little by little into your mixer and mix until light and fluffy, add vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and food coloring, incorporate completely
  4. To the creamed mixture, add the egg yolks one by one, incorporating fully after each addition. Add the orange zest.
  5. In a clean mixing bowl with a clean whisk beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry and put in the fridge until ready to use.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter in three parts alternating with the milk and orange juice beating until smooth.
  7. Using a rubber spatula fold one quarter of the egg whites into the batter
  8. Then add the rest and continue to fold until no white streaks remain. Since I've added food color, this may take awhile. Just continue folding gently until completely incorporated.
  9. Pour batter into the bundt pan and smooth surface with spatula to even out. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean
  10. This cake fills your kitchen with a very pleasant and heady aroma. Watch it closely so it's not over~done.
  11. To make the glaze, make a miixture of orange juice and powdered sugar simmered in a small pan on stovetop until reduced.
  12. When the cake is done, Immediately invert cake on a cooling rack and glaze with citrus syrup; or sift powdered sugar over the top.
  13. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream, some chopped pistachios, and candied orange rind or zest and rose petals
Recipe Notes

THE HISTORY OF THE DJINN:    Jinn ~ (Redirected from Djinn)

This article is about the traditional concept.

Jinn (Arabic: الجن‎, al-jinn), also romanized as djinn or anglicized as genies, are supernatural creatures in early Arabian and later Islamic mythology and theology. An individual member of the jinn is known as a jinni, djinni, or genie (الجني, al-jinnī). They are mentioned frequently in the Quran (the 72nd sura is titled Sūrat al-Jinn) and other Islamic texts and inhabit an unseen world, another universe beyond the known universe. The Quran says that the jinn are made of a smokeless and "scorching fire", but are also physical in nature, being able to interact in a tactile manner with people and objects and likewise be acted upon. The jinn, humans, and angels make up the three known sapient creations of God. Like human beings, the jinn can be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent and hence have free will like humans.   The shaytan jinn are akin to demons in Christian tradition, but the jinn are not angels and the Quran draws a clear distinction between the two creations.

Jinn is an Arabic collective noun deriving from the Semitic root jnn (Arabic: جَنّ / جُنّ‎, jann), whose primary meaning is "to hide". Some authors interpret the word to mean, literally, "beings that are concealed from the senses".  Jinn is properly treated as a plural, with the singular being jinni.

The anglicized form genie is a borrowing of the French génie, from the Latin genius, a guardian spirit of people and places in Roman religion. It first appeared in 18th-century translations of the Thousand and One Nights from the French, where it had been used owing to its rough similarity in sound and sense.

Wikipedia

This cake was a lot of fun to make.  The look, texture and taste are beyond compare.  The addition of the saffron and cardamom give cake a whole new meaning.

This cake is simple, needs very little, if any, adornment and is well~received by those lucky enough to try it.  But, the additions and adornments is why dessert of almost any kind is appealing. Over~the~top is still okay and usually encouraged.

LINK LIST

BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

I failed to mention earlier that Lara of Tartacadabra came up with this wonderful theme.  Except for MY screwup, I had great fun with the theme and the final result, my fantabulous cake.  It's not only beautiful but quite delicious.  Thank you Lara, I really did enjoy your theme, so clever.

 

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SPICED ORANGE PECANS

I found this recipe in a chair someone gave me. If you’re familiar with my pins, etc, you know how much I value hand~me~down recipes. This one was from a newspaper, yellowed with age and all crunched up. My friend who gave me the chair gets some of my first batch.

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SPICED ORANGE PECANS
Print Recipe
Easy, peasy treats to enjoy yourself, or perfect for hostess gifts and gifts for neighbors.
Servings Prep Time
4 Cups 40 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 ~ 15 Minutes 60 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Cups 40 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 ~ 15 Minutes 60 Minutes
SPICED ORANGE PECANS
Print Recipe
Easy, peasy treats to enjoy yourself, or perfect for hostess gifts and gifts for neighbors.
Servings Prep Time
4 Cups 40 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 ~ 15 Minutes 60 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Cups 40 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 ~ 15 Minutes 60 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Cups
Instructions
  1. Heat sugar, milk and seasonings to a soft~ball stage (234º degrees F)
  2. Remove from heat and add pecans
  3. Keep stirring until mixture begins to thicken and all pecans are well~covered.
  4. Spread coated pecans on parchment or silpat in a single layer. Let cool
  5. Makes great gifts, especially for neighbors and friends at Christmas.
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# BUNDT BAKERS CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BUNDT CAKE WITH ESPRESSO~PEANUT BUTTER GLAZE

The theme this month is Retro Desserts Recreated as a Bundt. While I was writing this recipe, I began thinking how subjective the term “comfort food” is. This one is going to become one of my all~time favorites based on childhood memories alone. But tasting that long~forgotten mingle of flavors was very special for me.

BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. http://www.pinterest.com/flpl/bundtbakers/

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When I was a young girl, my mother was simply not a baker.  My dear Aunt Jeanne was the baker.  She was well~known in Jamestown, New York for her cookies in particular.   At Christmas, she would always send a coffee can full of her delicate and delightful array.  We waited anxiously for that coffee can to arrive, then we devoured them.

As we got older, us kids would make the baked goods, cookies with the recipe from the back of the morsels bag, or boxed cakes for birthdays and holidays.

But every now and then, strictly from memory, my Mom would make a chocolate cake from scratch .  I think she always put some strong black coffee in the mix and then she would make a peanut butter/coffee icing.  Those cakes were “the best”.  After you had a piece, you were full for hours.  The cakes were always heavy but tasty.  I don’t think she knew what a sifter was for.

So when I saw this recipe, I immediately thought of her and those rare baking moments we shared, with great joy.  With a smidgen of tweaks and twists, I was off and running to smell those Heavenly aromas coming from my own kitchen.

#BUNDT BAKERS CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BUNDT CAKE WITH ESPRESSO~PEANUT BUTTER GLAZE
Print Recipe
Chocolate, peanut butter marbeled bundt cake with an espresso~peanut butter glaze. And a few filled cupcakes too.
Servings Prep Time
1+ Bundt 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 Minutes 2 ~ 3 Hours to cool completely
Servings Prep Time
1+ Bundt 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 Minutes 2 ~ 3 Hours to cool completely
#BUNDT BAKERS CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BUNDT CAKE WITH ESPRESSO~PEANUT BUTTER GLAZE
Print Recipe
Chocolate, peanut butter marbeled bundt cake with an espresso~peanut butter glaze. And a few filled cupcakes too.
Servings Prep Time
1+ Bundt 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 Minutes 2 ~ 3 Hours to cool completely
Servings Prep Time
1+ Bundt 45 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 Minutes 2 ~ 3 Hours to cool completely
Ingredients
THE CAKE
ESPRESSO~PEANUT BUTTER GLAZE
Servings: Bundt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º and grease and flour your baking pans and set them aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  3. In a stand mixer {or large bowl and hand mixer} beat softened butter on a medium speed for about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar and beat until combined. [4 ~ 5 minutes}. Next, slowly add the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Once the wet ingredients are completely incorporated, add the flour mixture and milk alternately until just combined.
  5. Transfer half of the batter, about 3 1/2 cups to a medium bowl, then stir in the cooled, melted chocolate until well combined. I decided to leave the peanut butter half in my stand mixer and used my hand mixer for the chocolate half.
  6. Before measuring the peanut butter, spray the measuring cup with non~stick spray for easy release. I almost forgot the cooking spray but luckily, remembered at the last minute. Add the peanut butter into the remaining cake mixture and blend until smooth, creamy and well~mixed.
  7. Using a separate spoon for each flavored batter, alternately drop spoonsful of the chocolate and the peanut butter batters into the prepared pan{s}. Use a knife or spatula to carefully swirl the batter together for that marbelized look. Do not over mix. Fill your pan until it is 3/4 full. It will increase in volume a bit while baking. Use any remaining batter for some lovely cupcakes. I think the cupcakes need a very lightly sweetened whipped~cream filling, just to take them over the top.
  8. Bake for about 60 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. The cupcakes will likely be done sooner than the cake so watch your time closely. Cool the cake{s} in their respective pans for about 15 minutes. Then, remove from the pans to continue cooling on a rack. In the meantime, make your espresso~peanut butter glaze. Make a mixture of the half & half and espresso powder and stir until the espresso has dissolved.
  9. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter and enough of the heavy cream and espresso mixture to create a thick drizzle. I had to add some additional half&half to make it easier to drizzle.
  10. When your bundt cake and bonus cupcakes have cooled completely, fill the cupcakes and then drizzle both the bundt cake and cupcakes with the espresso~peanut butter glaze and enjoy. 💜
  11. Here's what I did with the leftover cake batter. I decided to make a single layer cake. I used up all of the chocolate mixture in the bundt cake so my single layer is just peanut butter and is really good.
Recipe Notes

After taking a week off, my second~degree burns have healed nicely without too much scarring.  Even so, Mr. B took over melting the chocolate for the marbeling.  I did need his help at the end because the two bowls were too heavy to lift.  I chose to use all of the chocolate mixture in the bundt cake so all of the leftover batter made a lovely, single layer peanut butter cake and let me say here both batters were exceptionally tasty.  I'm anxious to taste the end product.  Sorry there are so few pictures, I get so focused on the instructions, I forget to take pictures.  I'll get better.

This bit of yummyness is adapted from "Inspired by Charm".  Thank you Michael for this stroll down memory lane.

LINK LIST

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