#BUNDTBAKERS APPLE~CREAM CHEESE BUNDT CAKE

This is my second try this month, I don’t know how it happened but in my opinion, my first one was not suitable for anything other than the garbage disposal. It very well could have been Operator error. This one went together nice and smooth. While the ingredient list may make seem intimidating, it’s really very easy to pull this delicious bundt cake out of your own oven.

This tasty morsel has been adapted from Baked by Rachel and I want to thank her for this little beauty.   Our theme this month is apples. I know there are hundreds of Apple bundt cake recipes but this one really struck me. Maybe it’s  the spice combinations but I couldn’t resist.   Thanks and much gratitude to Wendy of A Day In The Life On A Farm. Apples is such a nice idea since they are so versatile to work with. Lots and lots of recipes. The hard part was choosing the one for me to bake and enjoy.  Good job Wendy!

 

#BUNDTBAKERS APPLE~CREAM CHEESE BUNDT CAKE
Print Recipe
This one made the kitchen smell fabulous. Ohhh~Kay, here she is. After only two attempts, this one came out beautifully. I was pretty disheartened when my first attempt failed so miserably. But, going forward, with plenty of determination, a second recipe and plenty of time, it turned out alright. This cake is sweet, tender, flavorful and spicey. I would have no problem offering it as an alternative to pumpkin pie; move over Thanksgiving for something different and delicious.
Servings Prep Time
1 Large Bundt 35 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 ~ 75 Minutes 2 + Hours
Servings Prep Time
1 Large Bundt 35 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 ~ 75 Minutes 2 + Hours
#BUNDTBAKERS APPLE~CREAM CHEESE BUNDT CAKE
Print Recipe
This one made the kitchen smell fabulous. Ohhh~Kay, here she is. After only two attempts, this one came out beautifully. I was pretty disheartened when my first attempt failed so miserably. But, going forward, with plenty of determination, a second recipe and plenty of time, it turned out alright. This cake is sweet, tender, flavorful and spicey. I would have no problem offering it as an alternative to pumpkin pie; move over Thanksgiving for something different and delicious.
Servings Prep Time
1 Large Bundt 35 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 ~ 75 Minutes 2 + Hours
Servings Prep Time
1 Large Bundt 35 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 ~ 75 Minutes 2 + Hours
Ingredients
The Filling
The Cake
The Praline Frosting
Servings: Large Bundt
Instructions
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 300º F
  2. To make the filling. Add cream cheese, butter, and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment
  3. Beat at medium speed until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add the egg, flour and vanilla and continue beating just until incorporated. Set aside.
  5. Place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes or just until fragrant. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, both sugars, the cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and allspice together.
  7. Add the eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla and mix just until combined. It is recommended to use a whisk then switch to a spatula.
  8. Fold in the toasted pecans and chopped apples until distributed throughout the batter.
  9. Spoon 1/2 to 2/3 of the cake batter into the prepared bundt cake. Top evenly with cream cheese filling leaving a 1 inch border around the edge of the pan. This can be a little tricky, just do your best. Use a thin paring knife to swirl the cream cheese filling with the cake batter, just a few times ~ less is more. Top the filling with the rest of the cake batter.
  10. Bake at 300ºF for 30 minutes then increase the heat to 350ºF for an additional 45 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean.
  11. Transfer the cake pan to a cooling rack for about 15 minutes, then invert cake onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely {at least 2 hours}
Frosting
  1. Combine brown sugar, butter, and milk into a saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking almost constantly. Boil for 1 minute whisking constantly.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Whisk in the confectioners sugar, a little at a time until it is completely incorporated and the frosting is smooth.
  4. Gently stir the frosting until it starts to thicken, then pour it over the cooled cake. The frosting will set up quickly, so don't make it in advance. Also be very careful as I am sporting a small scar from my last praline recipe.
  5. Be certain to wait until the cake has cooled completely {at least 2 hours} before starting the frosting as it sets up quickly. Garnish with extra pecans if desired.
Recipe Notes

Johnny Appleseed
John Chapman (September 26, 1774 – March 18, 1845), often called Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, as well as the northern counties of present-day West Virginia.
Parent(s)‎: ‎Nathaniel Chapman; Elizabeth Simonds‎
Nationality‎: ‎American‎
Occupation‎: ‎Missionary and gardener‎ 💜

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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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GERMAN’S CHOCOLATE SCONES #ISW2016

I’ve been impatiently waiting for International Scone Week all year. I knew the scones I wanted to present but it took a lot of research to find a starting point. Now that it’s here, I hope my recipe won’t disappoint.

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This recipe was alot of fun and both interesting to research and to make.  I’ve been a fan of German Chocolate since early childhood.  As my baking skills progressed, I found a plethora of German Chocolate recipes.  However, as the “Queen of Scones” I was obligated to develop a scone of German Chocolate.  Rather than the usual caramel, coconut and pecan frosting, I chose a drizzling of chocolate and topped with toasted coconut flakes.  I do hope you enjoy my little creation and make it yourself one day.

GERMAN'S CHOCOLATE SCONES
Print Recipe
A delicate, scrumptious scone which as you know "is a little bit of Heaven in your hand". German chocolate anything is my favorite comfort food and always my choice when available. Oddly, there wasn't much that I could find, that offered the flavor i was looking for.
Servings Prep Time
8 Scones 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
8 Scones 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 1 Hour
GERMAN'S CHOCOLATE SCONES
Print Recipe
A delicate, scrumptious scone which as you know "is a little bit of Heaven in your hand". German chocolate anything is my favorite comfort food and always my choice when available. Oddly, there wasn't much that I could find, that offered the flavor i was looking for.
Servings Prep Time
8 Scones 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
8 Scones 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 ~ 30 Minutes 1 Hour
Ingredients
Servings: Scones
Instructions
The Scones
  1. Heat oven to 375º F
  2. Blend flour, baking powder, unsweetened cocoa and salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Add solid coconut oil and butter and cut in using a fork, pastry blender, or better yet, get your fastidiously clean hands into the work bowl and blend ingredients until crumbly in texture.
  3. Add heavy cream and sugar. Stir thoroughly and add either flour or additional heavy cream to make the dough come together well.
  4. Stir in coconut and chopped chocolate.
  5. Mix 3 Tablespoons confectioners sugar with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, and sprinkle on the parchment~lined baking sheet. This will keep the scones from sticking to the pan as you shape them. Shape into an 8 inch square, about 3/4 inches thick. Cut into 8 triangles.
  6. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of each scone with additional heavy cream; then dust with a very light sanding sugar to add nice bit of crunch.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
The Glaze
  1. Place the chocolate bits and heavy cream in a microwave~safe bowl or small saucepan. Heat in the microwave or saucepan over a low heat until the cream is very hot. Remove from heat and stir until all the chocolate bits melt and the mixture is smooth
  2. Spread over cooled scones. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top of glaze. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from Melanie Kathryn~Gather for Bread

Contrary to popular belief, German chocolate cake did not originate in Germany. Its roots can be traced back to 1852 when American Samuel German developed a type of dark baking chocolate for the American Baker's Chocolate Company. The brand name of the product, Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate, was named in honor of him.

On June 3, 1957, a recipe for "German's Chocolate Cake" appeared as the "Recipe of the Day" in the Dallas Morning Star.  It was created by Mrs. George Clay, a homemaker from 3831 Academy Drive, Dallas, Texas.  This recipe used the baking chocolate introduced 105 years prior and became quite popular. General Foods, which owned the Baker's brand at the time, took notice and distributed the cake recipe to other newspapers in the country. Sales of Baker's Chocolate are said to have increased by as much as 73% and the cake would become a national staple. The possessive form (German's) was dropped in subsequent publications, forming the "German Chocolate Cake" identity and giving the false impression of a German origin.

The recipe still remains popular to this day and has been adopted by baking companies.

June 11 is National German Chocolate Cake Day in America.

~~~Wikipedia~~~

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#BUNDTBAKERS ALMOND LAVENDER BUNDT CAKE

While this cake was baking, the house was filled with the most enticing aroma. When working with culinary lavender, it’s best to remember that a little goes a long way. If you use too much it just tastes like perfume.

This month’s theme is Secret Garden, and  I want to give an appreciative shout out to Sue Lau of ~A Palatable Pastime~ for this ingenious and fun theme.  Well done Sue, many thanks.  I really enjoyed this particular theme and had a lot of fun with it.

In my previous home in Southern California, I had an absolutely lovely garden.  I had a huge lavender field in one corner, an English garden filled with all my favorite herbs, and a long side garden filled with flavored and aromatic geraniums; several varieties of mint along my back fence and just one rose bush.  I am not able to have a garden like that here in Arizona and I miss it all, every day.

My point was I loved my garden and harvested mint and herbs on a daily basis.  But my lavender, oh my lavender was not only my cat’s favorite spot, but it was, in my opinion, quite gorgeous.  I had lavender “everything”, sugar, salt, jelly and anything else that was edible lavender. So now, “My Secret Garden” is only in my heart and just a memory.

#BUNDTBAKERS ALMOND LAVENDER BUNDT CAKE
Print Recipe
A very tender, aromatic and unusually flavored cake. I baked it in my rose Bundt pan so there was a bit of very tasty crunch which was a nice surprise. This cake was not difficult, nor did it require a great deal of time to put together. It was well~received with various exclamations of satisfaction and compliments. I will make this again for special occasions or at the request of family. The flavor was a little sophisticated but perfect for special occasions, holidays or everyday as well.
Servings Prep Time
1 Bundt Cake 25 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 + 30 Minutes approximately 20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 Bundt Cake 25 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 + 30 Minutes approximately 20 Minutes
#BUNDTBAKERS ALMOND LAVENDER BUNDT CAKE
Print Recipe
A very tender, aromatic and unusually flavored cake. I baked it in my rose Bundt pan so there was a bit of very tasty crunch which was a nice surprise. This cake was not difficult, nor did it require a great deal of time to put together. It was well~received with various exclamations of satisfaction and compliments. I will make this again for special occasions or at the request of family. The flavor was a little sophisticated but perfect for special occasions, holidays or everyday as well.
Servings Prep Time
1 Bundt Cake 25 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 + 30 Minutes approximately 20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 Bundt Cake 25 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 + 30 Minutes approximately 20 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Bundt Cake
Instructions
The Bundt Cake
  1. Use your favorite cake pan release in a 10 inch bundt cake pan and sprinkle with sugar. Set aside.
  2. Place 1/2 cup sugar, almonds, and 1 teaspoon lavender in a food processor, cover and process until finely ground.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy; beat in processed almond and lavender mixture until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  4. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and half~and~half. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, sift and add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beating well after each addition.
  5. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 300º F for 30 minutes then raise temperature to 325 F for an additional 30~35 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Glaze Drizzle
  1. For drizzle, in a small bowl, make a tisane combining lavender buds and hot water. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain, discarding lavender buds. {alternate glaze recipe follows directly below}.
  2. In another small bowl, Combine confectioners sugar, the almond extract and enough half~and~half to reach desired consistency. Garnish with additional lavender buds if desired.
Recipe Notes

The Bundt pan was invented in the 1950s by a man named H. David Dalquist. The pan was based on a traditional ceramic dish with a similar ringed shape. Though Dalquist's version was lighter and easier to use than the clunky previous version, sales were disappointing.

Then, in 1966, a woman named Ella Helfrich took second place in the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off with her recipe for Tunnel of Fudge Cake. The walnut-filled, chocolate-glazed cake had a ring of gooey fudge at its center. Eating a slice was reminiscent of indulging in under-baked brownie batter. Helfrich's cake was an overnight sensation. Pillsbury received more than 200,000 requests for the pan she used, and Dalquist's company went into overtime production. Today, more than 50 million Bundt pans have been sold around the world. They come in a multitude of sizes, shapes and specialty cakes.

Instead  of a lavender tisane for the glaze, I added almond extract which gave the cake a mild but tasty addition.  I think the next time I might reduce the amount of lavender because although I loved it this way,  I felt one more lavender bud might just be too much.  At 3 teaspoons of lavender, I felt it put the cake just at the borderline.  I would make it exactly the same as well depending on my guests tastes.  This would be a fine addition to any tea. 💜

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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Chicken, Italian Sausages and Potatoes

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Dinner couldn’t be easier.  I’m providing a picture of the finished product because it is so simple to throw together.

Chicken, Italian Sausages and Potatoes
Print Recipe
Chicken breasts placed on top of Italian Sausages and peeled white potatoes. A very savory and satisfying meal.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 1/2 Hours 10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 1/2 Hours 10 Minutes
Chicken, Italian Sausages and Potatoes
Print Recipe
Chicken breasts placed on top of Italian Sausages and peeled white potatoes. A very savory and satisfying meal.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 1/2 Hours 10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 1/2 Hours 10 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Start with the halved potatoes and sausages. Place bone-in chicken on top. Cover casserole and bake at 300F for 30 minutes, then increase temperature to 350F for an additional 2 1/2 hours. Remove cover to brown for another 30 minutes.
  2. Serve with salad and if you're feeling naughty, add a fresh loaf of Italian or French bread. 💜
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#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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