Tag Archives: measuring

Buttermilk Pancakes from Cooking Light

I know that I am preaching to the choir when I say this, but it has come again to my attention that some parents of teenagers think that my food’s class is frivolous!  Ha!  I have witnessed first hand during our second lab that basic cooking skills are needed.  These include knowing the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon, measuring dry ingredients correctly in a dry measuring cup, and that a skillet must be preheated before pouring pancake batter  in the pan.  Nothing ceases to amaze me in the food’s lab after so many years of teaching.  What does amaze me that some parents  don’t think that being able to prepare nutritious meals at home is a necessary skill.  Well, I am not going there today!  But,  I was pleased to see this article in Cooking Light last month Bring Back Home Economics to Schools!  If I get on my soap box today I will take up way too much space here and too much of your valuable time.  Let’s get to the light version of the pancakes we made  last week.  They were delightful!

When I was giving my demonstration I tried a new recipe using sour cream and melted butter.  While I loved the taste I was not pleased with the texture.  I am a lover of light and fluffy pancakes, not the thin crepe type.  So after giving the students the basic instructions of putting pancakes together I changed the ingredients to make a lighter and fluffier version.  The one that I used came from Cooking Light.  The recipe calls for much less fat than most recipes.

The results in most groups were fantastic, but we were not without a few mishaps from using the wrong measurements,  preheating to the wrong temperature , or in some cases not preheating the skillet at all.  Some students did admit that they should pay closer attention when I am cooking for them.  Well, yes that is the whole idea behind demonstrating.   Here is the recipe for you to try on a beautiful fall Saturday morning.

Buttermilk Pancakes from Cooking Light

Yield 18 medium pancakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.
  2. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl, and make a well in center of mixture.
  3. Combine buttermilk, oil, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth.
  4. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
  5. Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.
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Filed under Breakfast

Cream Puffs

Cream puff with vanilla pudding fillingTeaching high school  takes a lot of planning, but there are times that I do things on the spur of the moment that really add alot to the class.  This is one of them. Today the students took a test and we started a new unit.  I thought we needed something a little more interesting.  This demo only took about 15 minutes of class time.  While they were cooking the students took their test.

I have been making cream puffs since college.  As a freshman I worked  for the Family and Consumer Science Department Head.  I thought I would be typing,  grading essays that kind of thing, but that was not always the case.  Thank goodness I loved to cook.  She was in charge of every event that involved food.  Not sit down meals, but everything else. 

I left there knowing how to make every kind of cookie, sandwich, cheese straw, punch,  and candy recipe.  I loved it!  It was so much fun and I  learned a lot. 

Here is one of the recipes that I made. 

Cream puffs are very easy to make and will impress all your guests. You can fill them with pudding.  I recommend you make it from scratch.  It is much better than the instant that I used today, because of lack of time. Sweetened whipped cream would be an excellent choice, too. Let’s don’t leave out ICE CREAM.  You could use that as a filling, too.

Since  I am not a dessert person  filling  them with chicken or a seafood salad would be a hit.  Or you could go all out and double the recipe and make one savory and one sweet.  Whatever way you choose everyone is going to be impressed with your cooking skills.    

My students now want to make these in class, but we don’t have time.  We have to move on to  more healthy choices.  FRUITS and VEGETABLES

Here is the basic recipe that is found in every cookbook.  Use your imagination and enjoy cooking!

Cream Puffs

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Heat oven to 400 – 425 degrees.  In a medium saucepan, heat water and margarine to boiling. Take off heat add flour and salt all at once.  Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of pan in a smooth compact ball.  Let mixture cool slightly.  Stirring will help to cool the mixture quicker.  Be careful not to add your eggs too soon or you will have scrambled eggs.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.   Make 6 very large cream puffs or use a tablespoon and make 20 snack size. ( In the picture are snack size).

You can pipe these from a pastry tube using a large fluted tip.

Bake small cream puffs for about 30 minutes.  Bake large ones for about 40 minutes.

Doneness is important.  They will collapse if they are underbaked.  ( That question was on our test today) To fill them slice the top third and remove the uncooked dough if there is any.  Now you will be able to fill the Cream Puff.  When you finish just replace the top.

They should be filled as close to serving time as possible to preserve their crispness.

Unfilled they can be frozen for 3 months.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

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Filed under Brunch, Cooking, Cream Puffs, Dessert, easy, quick, Recipes

MEASURING INGREDIENTS

OK THIS COULD BE A BORING SUBJECT.   But it is necessary to those who have never stepped foot into the kitchen.   Believe me I have seen almost every kind of mistake that can be made by measuring incorrectly.  So I am giving you the basics here.

Measuring can make or break a recipe especially when baking.  Even a small ingredient such as salt  makes a big difference.  On the other hand if your are making spaghetti sauce  or something similar you can vary amounts of ingredients or leave some out all together and the sauce will still be tasty.

Measuring Liquids  – Liquid measuring cups come in various sizes. They should be glass or plastic with a pouring spout.   For those who have never measured ingredients pay attention to this small detail, when measuring 1/2 cup of a liquid do not measure it in a 4 cup measure.  The smallest amount you can measure is 1 cup.  Measure liquids at eye level.  Don’t measure liquids in a dry measuring cup!!

 

Measuring Flour

  • Use dry measuring cups
  • Sift if necessary or stir to add air if packed
  • Spoon lightly into a measuring cup
  • Level with a straight edge
  • Do not scoop flour out with the measuring cup or measuring spoon. You will almost  DOUBLE the flour you need. 

Wax paper is a great to use  on the counter when measuring because you can pour the leftovers back into the canister. 

Powdered sugar should be measured same as flour.

Brown sugar should be packed into a dry measure.

Use measuring spoons for small amounts of ingredients and level.

Shortening can be measured in two ways:

  • Pack into a dry measuring cup
  • Water Displacement method:  if you need 1/2 cup shortening measure 1/2 cup cold water and add shortening until the water level is 1 cup.  Keep shortening under water by pushing in to stick to bottom or side. Drain water.

Remember that measuring correctly is the key to great baking!!

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

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Filed under Cooking, Recipes