January Tasty Tools: Measuring Tools

A popular new year’s resolution is to be more health conscious. One way to do that is measuring portions. This month we’re highlighting all measuring tools to keep with the theme… and maybe start a new habit for portion control!

Measuring tools that come to mind include:
– measuring spoons & cups
– measuring beakers
– food scale

BLOGGERS:

1) Make a recipe using any measuring tool and create a blog post about it from now (the date of this post) until midnight, January 31st. Any previous blog posts you have where you’ve created a dish using a measuring tool (with pictures) are happily accepted.

2) Add a link back to my blog within your blog post, Joelen’s Culinary Adventures

3) Send an email with the following information to itsjoelen@gmail.com:
– Title of the blogging adventure in subject line
– Your first name
– Your state and/or country location if outside the U.S.
– Your food blog name & link to your event entry that includes pictures

You can participate even if you don’t have a blog. Non-bloggers can email the above information (sans blog details) and I’ll include it in the round up.

Christkindl Market’s Bavarian Style Pecans

Today was a fun day where I checked out the Chicago holiday happenings downtown. Every year the Christkindl Market sets up shop near the city center and brings in a taste of Germany to Chicago. There is so much to see, smell, taste, hear… it’s almost like walking around in a European city during the holidays.

Visitors from all over the world come to the Christkindlmarket Chicago annually and the numbers continue to grow every year. It is so popular and loved by all that any Chicagoan will tell you that they could not imagine the city without it. It is no longer just a German tradition – it has become a Chicago institution. ~ Christkindl website

One of the main smells of the market were of cinnamon glazed nuts. There were several kinds of nuts available and it seemed as though everyone around me had some to snack on as they walked through the market. Once I got home, I was inspired to make some. The recipe that inspired me was from here. I adapted it to give it some more flavor using Pumpkin Pie spice to make it as close to the Bavarian Style pecans and they came out just as good as the ones in the Market!

Bavarian Style Cinnamon Pecans
original Joelen recipe

2 egg whites
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans halves, divided
2 quart sized resealable bags

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the egg whites, vanilla and water. Whisk until frothy and place in 1 resealable bag.

In the other resealable bag, combine the sugars, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix thoroughly to fully combine.

Place 1 cup of pecans in the egg white mixture. Seal bag and toss to coat. Remove only pecan halves and place in a medium bowl. Be sure to keep any remaining egg white in the bag.

Coat the remaining pecans with the egg white mixture in the sealable bag and set aside in the bowl.

Place 1 cup of the egg white coated pecans in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Seal bag and toss to coat. Remove pecan halves and place in a medium bowl. Be sure to keep any remaining sugar in the bag.

Coat the remaining pecans with the cinnamon sugar mixture in the resealable bag and set aside in the bowl.

Pour any remaining cinnamon sugar mixture from the resealable bag into the bowl of nuts.
Stir all the nuts once more in the bowl to thoroughly coat.

Place coated pecans on parchment lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour – stirring every 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container.


Here are some pictures from the Christkindl Market…
So many trinkets!

Here’s where you can get some authentic Beer Steins!

Gifts all made with honey…
Russian & Ukranian gifts & ornaments…
I don’t think I’ve seen so many ornaments in one booth!

Ahh… lots and lots of German sausages…

A very cold Russian vendor with his Babushka Dolls…
Any one need a Nutcracker?

Interesting candy treat… a Marzipan Pig complete with a candy man riding it?
Creepy Witch Castle (Hansel & Gretel scene)…

Mmm.. Chocolate Clogs!
Truffles are a weakness of mine…

Season’s Eatings from Spain!


Fellow blogger, Katie of Thyme For Cooking has hosted a fun foodie swap called Season’s Eatings for the holidays. I participated in this and my package of goodies arrived today… from Barcelona Spain!

A heart felt ‘Thank You!‘ goes out to Nuria of Spanish Recipes for her wonderful and tasty package. I’m so psyched with the goodies I received:

White Beans
Nuria picked this up from her local Farmer’s Market. She says they’ve been harvested recently and are famous in Spain for their fine and tender texture when cooked.
Ceps: A type of mushroom which are great with meat, omelettes and rice.
Noras: This is a small dry pepper that is used in sauces, stews and with legumes.
Saffron
A great spice, especially coming straight from Spain… and is essential in paella!

If you have any recipes using the above ingredients, I’d love to hear about them! I know Nuria has quite a few in her blog that I hope to try soon!

To Brie, Or Not To Brie?

Thanks to my friends at President Cheese, I received this wonderful package of their special Brie log, Stonewall Kitchen Raspberry Jam and Carr’s Water Crackers. This comes at a perfect time especially after my busy weekend.


I happen to love President Cheese that (little did they know!) I always have a large wheel of their Brie on hand. However their Brie log is a perfect shape for crackers and appetizers. The rind on President’s Brie log is so thin, even those that don’t like to eat the rind (like myself) won’t mind it at all!


So what kinds of recipes do you use brie in? I’d love to hear from you and learn some new recipes to use it in or perhaps other accouterments you eat brie with! In the meantime, here are some recipes I have within my blog using brie…

November Tasty Tools: Round Up!

So have you had enough holiday fare with Thanksgiving over? By chance did you get a glimpse of our Tasty Tool this month in a kitchen? That right, this month we highlighted Roasting & Braising pans. Fellow bloggers have submitted recipes using their roasting/braising pans and it wasn’t all filled with turkey! Check out the wonderful recipes submitted and next time you think of a roasting/braising pan, hopefully other recipes come to mind aside from turkey!

Thanks to fellow bloggers for participating this month!

Cathy of Cathy’s Kitchen
from New York
Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
Everyone should try making a roasted chicken once. It’s a classic dish that is easier to prepare than some folks think! Cathy shares with us her roasted chicken recipe and a tip she got from Paula Deen to get a nice crispy skin from baking. Wanna know what that tip is? Check out Cathy’s blog for the recipe and more!

Cate of Cate’s Kitchen
from California
Braised Chicken with Mushrooms & Bacon
Cate’s recipe is a versatile one in that it can be made in a Dutch oven and braising pan! This dish is rich and full of flavor… especially with 2 kinds of wine, fresh herbs and bacon in the recipe. Perfect for the cold winter months, you’ll want to sneak a peek at Cate’s blog and check out the recipe!

Nancy of Gaga in the Kitchen
from California
Classic Thanksgiving Turkey
What’s a roasting/braising tool round up without featuring the mighty turkey?! Nancy shares with us her beautiful turkey she and her family enjoyed for Thanksgiving. Her post is chock full of awesome tips and tricks on roasting a turkey. I highly recommend checking out her blog to prepare for next year (and no, its never to early!)

Rachel of The Crispy Cook
from New York
Roasted Mashed Potato Remix
I love how very cool Rachel’s roasting pan is. It’s not the fancy shmancy stainless steel I’m familiar with, but rather a Roemertopf clay pot roaster. Where can I pick up one of those?! Rachel tackles leftover mashed potatoes and steps them up in this gourmet remix. Check out Rachel’s blog for the recipe!

Amy of Just2Good
from Florida
Roasted Chicken with Bacon
Everything is better with bacon! Amy shares with us her beautiful roasted chicken adorned with crisp bacon. To accompany this dish, she made a gravy right in her roasting pan using drippings from the chicken. Yum! Check out Amy’s blog for the recipe!

Krystal of Married Life
from California
Good Eats Roast Turkey
Krystal’s turkey was courtesy of Alton Brown. I think it’s a great recipe to try because the process and steps involved definitely makes sense. Krystal’s turkey came out fabulous and your’s can too by checking out her blog for the recipe (and some fun pictures of her in her beautiful kitchen!)

Karen of Loves to Eat Weblog
from Florida
Pumpkin Cheesecake
I saved Karen’s dessert for last because shes proves that a roasting pan is quite a useful vessel even for desserts! Using her roasting pan, she created a bain marie – an ideal technique in making cheesecakes. Check out Karen’s blog… and make a cheesecake for the upcoming holidays!

Tasty Tools: Baking sheets pans!

For December’s Tasty Tools event, we’re highlighting baking sheet pans to keep with the holiday cookie season. Aside from cookies, these baking sheet pans can be used for many other dishes. What do you use yours for?

If you happen to use a baking sheet pan for any of your cooking and/or baking this month, submit a recipe you’ve made with a picture of it on a baking sheet pan to the event all throughout the month of December.

1) Make a recipe using a baking sheet pan and create a blog post about it from now (the date of this post) until midnight, December 31st.

2) Add a link back to my blog within your blog post, Joelen’s Culinary Adventures

3) Send an email using this contact form with the following information:
– Title of the blogging adventure in subject line
– Your name, state/country location
– Your food blog name & link to your event entry with picture

November Tasty Tools: Roasting/Braising Pans!

For November’s Tasty Tools, we’re highlighting Roasting & Braising Pans! This is one piece of cookware that will be especially used this month for the many Thanksgiving celebrations happening. However aside from turkey, this piece of cookware has many other uses. I use my roasting pan for roast chicken, pork & lamb roasts, large batches of caramel corn, even lasagna! It’s a great piece of cookware that every kitchen should have and it can be used throughout the year – not just for turkey on Thanksgiving! So if you happen to use a roasting or braising pan for any of your cooking and/or baking this month, submit a recipe you’ve made in a roasting/braising pan to the event all throughout the month of November.

1) Make a recipe using a roasting/braising pan and create a blog post about it from now (the date of this post) until midnight, November 30th.

2) Add a link back to my blog within your blog post, Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.

3) Send an email with the following information to itsjoelen@gmail.com:
– Title of the blogging adventure in subject line
– Your name, state/country location
– Your food blog name & link to your event entry with picture