An international campaign aims to end “fat talk,” and other self-deprecating comments. This week our “What SheSays” panel, made up of The Forum’s Heidi Shaffer, Meredith Holt and Emily Welker, weighs in on what that kind of language does to our well-being.
When I heard that Forum reporter Anna Larson was doing a story on desserts that you make that contain alcohol, I was intrigued. I love a nice dessert and a nice after dinner cocktail. But why not be efficient and combine the two?
She was nice enough to show me how to make one of her favorite desserts: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes. She took the recipe from Dave Lieberman of The Food Network. But she made a few changes, most notably to the frosting, which is, and I’m not exaggerating,THE BEST FROSTING I’VE EVER HAD.
Here is Lieberman’s recipe with a few changes from Anna.
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purposeflour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch fine salt
1 12 oz bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness)
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
Lightly grease 24 muffin tins or use paper liners. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender.
Two 8-oz. packages of reduced-fat cream cheese (Don’t use fat-free cream cheese! It won’t taste the same.)
2 to 3 cups of powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps if you wish
1 stick of butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp of vanilla bean paste
splash of heavy cream
Allow the cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature. Beat the cream cheese to soften it; add the butter. Beat to combine.
Slowly add the powdered sugar until you have a consistency that holds some shape. Add the vanilla and splash of heavy cream. You may need more powdered sugar after this step if you plan to pipe the frosting.
“Hungry for More” host Jim Manney likes to take us to a lot of the great places in our area to learn a thing or two about how to make a great meal in your own home.
It’s also fun to see a little behind-the-scenes action of the places we like to eat, but we don’t just show these extravagant meals, we want to show our viewers the basics, too.
We’ve gotten numerous emails from readers who want us to bring back one of our most popular videos: how to make the perfect hard-cooked egg.
It’s the small things that can make a meal really great. So back by popular demand, we revisit an earlier video with chef Eric Watson at Mezzaluna to remind us of the easy and perfect way to make a hard-cooked egg.
Chef Tony Nasello brings a taste of summer to the winter months with a sundried tomato pesto on a crostini.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Crostini
Serves: 4 to 6
2 cups dehydrated, or oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons pine nuts
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
If you are using dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes to rehydrate them before using. Strain and use.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, except the olive oil, and mix until well blended. While the machine is running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until a smooth consistency is achieved. Add the salt and adjust as desired.
To store the pesto, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to two months.
12 slices fresh mozzarella
12 large basil leaves
Sun-dried tomato pesto
Place a slice of fresh mozzarella on each crostini, top it with a leaf of basil and finish with a heaping dollop of the sun-dried tomato pesto.
Is there anything wrong with admitting marriage is hard? Ben Affleck thanked his wife, Jennifer Garner, last week at the Oscars, adding he knew that being married to him was sometimes hard. Some took to Twitter saying he shouldn’t have admitted that on national TV. SheSays’ Heidi Shaffer, Tracy Frank and Anna Larson discuss the topic on this week’s online episode of “What SheSays.”
I’m not sure when I first started to notice that people on Facebook had gone a little nuts. Well, let’s qualify that. Some people on Facebook have always been a little nuts. But about a year ago, I began to see a really weird obsession: people posting their love of bacon.
We’re not talking about, “yeah, it tastes pretty good with scrambled eggs.” We’re talking mind-numbing hero worship. An all out Baconpalooza. Here are just a few examples you’ll find when you type “Bacon Mania” into Google. There are recipes for bacon milkshakes, bacon brittle, bacon popcorn, bacon chocolate chip cookies. Stores are selling bacon air freshener and bacon soda. Even Burger King was selling a bacon sundae.
So in honor of National Pig Day tomorrow we wanted to get into the act and make for you the most romantic of bacon creations: bacon roses.
Basically, it’s bacon strips rolled to look like tiny roses. A great option for your bacon loving loved ones. Unlike real flowers they won’t die, but they might raise your cholesterol.
My co-worker Josh Thomas scanned recipes all over the internet for the easiest way to make these little delicacies. Some require you to drill holes in your favorite muffin pan. But because I care deeply for my Pampered Chef ware, I will not do that. Josh found an easier and just as delicious way to achieve the perfect bacon roses.
What you’ll need:
One package bacon – any kind
fake flowers with flowers pulled off
mini muffin pan or regular muffin pan
Start by tightly rolling bacon strips. Try to make the straightest edge of the strip the bottom of the rose. With the curviest edge of the strip, it will give a more authentic look to your bacon “petals.” After rolling the bacon, secure in place with a toothpick and place in mini muffin tin. If you only have a regular muffin pan, you can place two “roses” in each cup. One all roses are rolled place in preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and carefully place “roses” on a cooling rack on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If you don’t take the “roses” out of the muffin cups at this point, bacon grease might overflow from the cups. Place the cookie sheet back in oven for another 10-20 minutes depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Once the bacon has cooled for a few minutes. Secure them onto the fake flower stems. Place in a vase and watch your loved ones smile and probably need a glass of water.
Tony Nasello shows us how to make a warm bacon dressing to drizzle on top of spinach, fresh pear, pecans and bleu cheese crumbles.
Spinach and Pear Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Serves: 4 to 6
½ red onion, sliced (¼-inch thick)
4 slices of bacon
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup red wine
¼ cup Marsala wine
1 cup water
½ cup brown sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 level tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons cold water
Cook the bacon in a sauce pot over medium heat for three to five minutes until lightly browned. Add the onions and sauté with the bacon for another three minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the slurry, and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half.
Season with salt to taste, then prepare the cold slurry mixture. Add the slurry to the simmering dressing; the mixture should thicken immediately. Remove from heat. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium-sized bowl and use the back of a ladle to gently press the mixture through until all the liquid has been extracted. Discard all bacon and onion bits left in the strainer. Serve immediately or store for later use.
To store, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week. Reheat just before serving.
1 bag fresh spinach leaves
1 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
3 Bartlett pears, thinly sliced length-wise with peel on, no more than ¼-inch thick
1 cup whole pecans
Toss all ingredients together. Serve on individual plates and drizzle with warm bacon dressing, or pass in a large salad bowl with dressing on the side.
Jim Manney is at Quaker Steak & Lube with kitchen manager Scott Huson making the quick and simple Baja Chicken Wrap.
Just a few simple but flavorful ingredients make this wrap stand out.
The pops of black bean and corn salsa, pico de gallo and feta cheese bring the wrap together.
The whole thing took about 5 minutes, and the only extra time you would need to add on is if you need to cook your chicken.
It’s a fast and easy meal to make at any time.
So next time you visit their restaurant, check out some of their other menu items, even though their sign says they have “The Best Wings In The USA.”
Saying “no” is hard to do. On this week’s episode of “What SheSays” Heidi Shaffer, LaurelLee Loftsgard and Chris Linnares talk about why it is so difficult and how busy women can overcome the guilt.
Who doesn’t love a good spaghetti sauce especially when it’s packed with healthful, filling ingredients?
That’s what Concordia College Cooking Show Host and KVRR Reporter Hannah Johnson showed me on this weeks’ Great Indoors.
“Woody’s Spaghetti Sauce” is named for Hannah’s grandfather who made the sauce as long as she can remember. Not only is it easy to make, it’s delicious, and it’s a good way to sneak your veggies into your diet. Power packed with flavor and nutrition.
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
1/2 cup green peppers
Optional: asparagus, broccoli and other kind of vegetable you like
28 oz can tomato sauce
6 slices of bacon – cooked
Heat olive oil in sauce pan at medium high heat. Add onions and garlic until onion sweats. Add vegetables and saute until crisp tender. Add 28 oz can of tomato sauce. Add crumbled slices of bacon to the sauce. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve over cooked spaghetti noodles.