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Archive for October 1, 2017

FOOD HOLIDAY: America’s Favorite Cookies

October is National Cookie Month, National Cookie Day is December 4th, and today, October 1st, is National Homemade Cookie Day.

According to OnePoll.com, the average American eats 18,928 cookies in their lifetime.

According to Huffington Post, America’s top 10 favorite cookies are:

1. Chocolate chip cookie
2. Brownie (a brownie is classified as a bar cookie)
3. Peanut butter cookie
4. Oreo
5. Oatmeal raisin cookie
6. White chocolate macadamia cookie
7. Sugar cookie
8. Shortbread
9. Butter cookie
10. M&M cookie

You can bake any of them today, including homemade Oreos, with this recipe. Here’s a comparison:

  • Oreo ingredients: unbleached enriched flour, sugar, palm, and/or canola oil, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, leavening, cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin (artificial vanilla), and unsweetened chocolate.
  •  

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Homemade chocolate chip cookies: America’s favorite to bake, too (photo courtesy Baked NYC).

  • Homemade ingredients: all-purpose flour, sugar, light brown sugar, butter, cocoa, egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, instant coffee, salt, baking powder and a filling of fondant icing.
  •  
    According to Eat This, Not That, the “secret formula” Oreo center that fans love so much is made from sugar, palm and/or canola oil, high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, and artificial flavor. Oh, yum!

    But the story gets even better: Originally the center was made with pig lard! Here’s more about what’s in Oreos.

    See the different types of cookies in our Cookie Glossary.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Cast-Iron Cooking & Beef Bacon Hash

    Beef & Bacon Hash Recipe
    [1] Beef and bacon hash for brunch (photo courtesy Lodge Manufacturing).

    My Lodge Cast Iron Cooking
    [2] One of Lodge Manufacturing’s three cookbooks devoted to cast-iron cooking (photo courtesy Lodge Manufacturing).

    Lodge Cast Iron Cookware

    [3] A kitchen’s worth of Lodge cast-iron cookware. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

     

    One of our family’s favorite Sunday brunch recipes was corned beef hash with poached eggs. Mom always made her hash in a large cast-iron skillet (and the corned beef in a pressure cooker).

    We never heard the words “beef hash,” much less “beef-bacon hash.”

    So when we received the recipe below from Lodge Manufacturing, a Tennessee-based producer of cast-iron cookware, we pulled the skillet out of the cupboard.
     
     
    THE BENEFITS OF CAST-IRON COOKING

  • A well-seasoned cast-iron pan is as effective as a nonstick pan, and avoids the chemicals used to coat nonstick pans.
  • While nonstick coatings can leach harmful chemicals into your food, cast-iron cookware leaches beneficial iron!
  • Cast iron heats completely evenly (not so with other metals, except copper), which is why professional chefs use them.
  • The pots and pans go from stovetop to oven or broiler.
  • You don’t have to scrub them. Once the pan is seasoned, just wipe it clean.
  • Here’s more information from Eating Well.
  •  
    If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, put it on your wish list and use it to give a great crust to:

  • Bibimbap
  • Cornbread
  • Dutch pancakes (Dutch baby)
  • Frittata
  • Panini
  • Pan pizza
  • Steak
  •  
    You’ll also enjoy using it to for:

  • Fried chicken
  • Skillet chocolate chip cookie
  • Toasting spices and grains
  • Just about anything
  •  
    Lodge has issued three books on cast-iron cooking. This recipe comes from My Lodge Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: 101 Popular & Delicious Cast Iron Skillet Recipes.
     
     
    RECIPE: BEEF-BACON HASH

    This is a delicious way to use leftover beef or other meat. Use a cast-iron skillet preferably 10 inches in diameter or larger.

     
    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 3 slices bacon
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups new potatoes, cut into ½ -inch cubes and parboiled 5 minutes
  • 1 cup cubed (1/2-inch) leftover cooked beef or other meat
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (or more) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  •  
    Plus

  • Eggs
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FRY the bacon until crisp. Drain on a paper towel, and pour off all but a thin layer of fat. Save the bacon fat in a jar for cooking eggs, potatoes, etc. (25+ uses for bacon fat).

    2. ADD the onion to the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Turn the heat up under the skillet and add the potatoes in a single layer. You might need to brown the potatoes in two batches, depending on the size of the skillet.

    3. COOK until the potatoes are browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and lower the heat slightly. Add the garlic and thyme, season with salt and pepper to taste, mix well, and heat thoroughly.

    4. REMOVE the pan from the heat and add the parsley. Crumble the bacon (or cut it into small pieces) and add to the hash. Mix well, and serve hot or at room temperature.

     
      

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