Health Benefits of Baking Soda

There are many Baking soda videos and essays out there…. I wanted to share this one from Chef Marcus Guiliano because I thought it was very informative

Important Note: Please consult your Dr. if you have high blood pressure or simply avoid it taking baking soda!

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Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

Halloween is finally over and my kids managed to collect way too much candy as usual!  So I thought that I would turn some of that leftover candy into something a little more special!

I found this recipe on the net and am planning to try it out next week but thought that I’d share it with you just in case one of you out there would like to try it out too!

Doesn’t it look Yummy?

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup assorted Halloween candy, roughly chopped
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to hang over the sides. Coat the paper with cooking spray.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the melted butter with the sugar and light brown sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the flour and salt just until incorporated. Stir in 1/2 cup of the assorted Halloween candy.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top, then sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Halloween candy over the top of the batter.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let the pan cool completely then remove the blondies using the parchment paper overhang, cut into 16 squares and serve.

Note: This is the exact recipe that I got from the site, however, I think that I am going to only put 1/2 or 3/4 cup of sugar instead of the 1/2 cup of white sugar plus 1 cup of brown! I would also add 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and only 1/4 teaspoon salt instead of the 1 1/2 tsp!… Finally, I think with my oven I might have to put it a bit longer… maybe an hour? let’s see!!

Source: Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies

Barefoot Contessa’s Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons

Its the perfect weather for soups… I tried this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa today it was really delicious

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I must admit that I did a few changes to the recipe!!….! I left it to boil for a bit longer… I added 1 Tbsp of olive oil instead of 3!!! …and I also added my mixed Italian dried herbs that I love so much.

Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons (Serves 4 to 6)

3 tablespoons good olive oil 
3 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions) 
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves) 
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade 
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano 
Large pinch of saffron threads 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
½ cup orzo 
½ cup heavy cream 
Grilled Cheese Croutons (recipe follows) 

In a large pot or Dutch oven such as Le Creuset, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently. 

Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered top. 

GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS 
Serves 4 to 6 

4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated 

Heat a panini grill. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyere on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyere, buttered sides up. 

Grill the sandwiches on the panini grill for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute, and cut into 1-inch cubes. 

Recipe via Barefoot Contessa 

Homemade Cheese Straws

I’ve tried these Parmigiano cheese straws. Not only they’re super easy to make… but they make wonderful hors d’oevres because they are the first thing guests go for 😉


Here is the recipe:

Homemade Cheese Straws {Makes about 3 Dozen}

Ingredients
* All-purpose flour, for work surface
* Puff Pastry
* 12 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated medium-fine (about 4 cups)
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* Coarse salt

Directions
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry dough to a 9-by-20-inch rectangle.

2. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over center of dough. Starting at the near short end, fold dough into thirds, enclosing cheese.

3. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 1 hour. Repeat. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate at least 4 hours or you can even leave it overnight.

4. Cut dough in half; wrap half in plastic, and refrigerate. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough to a 12-by-15-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. (Do not press too hard on edges.)

5. Using a pastry brush, dust off excess flour; brush beaten egg over dough until well moistened. Sprinkle 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cheese and a pinch of salt over the lower half of dough. Fold top half over cheese-covered half. Gently press to seal. Brush top of dough with beaten egg; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cheese and a pinch of salt.

6. Trim dough to 12 by 6 1/2 inches with a pastry wheel or knife. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough, cheese, and salt.

7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a pastry wheel, cut dough into 3/8-by-12-inch strips; twist into spirals. Space 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets. Press ends onto sheets to prevent straws from straightening. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.

8. Bake until golden and cooked through, about 18 minutes. Loosen straws from sheets with a thin spatula; transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 day.

The recipe makes it looks more complicating than it actually is. I promise once you start it is super easy.

Via Everything Fabulous