Thursday, April 23, 2015

Oats

Continuing on with our study of grains, we learned about oats. We prepared three different types of oats: steel-cut oats, old fashioned oats, and quick oats. Our group was in charge of the old-fashioned oats. Then we taste-tested. 

Old Fashioned Oats (1 serving)

Equipment/Ingredients
- Medium-sized sauce pan
- Wooden spoon
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of Old Fashioned Oats
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- Stove-top

1. Put the water (and the salt, if desired) into the pan and boil. 

2. Once the water has boiled, reduce to medium heat and add the oats. 

3. Cook the oats for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. After 5 minutes, remove from heat and serve in 2-3 minutes. 

5. Enjoy the oatmeal! Add brown sugar, fruit, cinnamon or raisins for extra flavor, if desired. 



This is a picture of all three different oats that we cooked. They all had a very similar taste, which was fairly bland because we didn't add any toppings. However, the textures were very different. The quick oats had smaller chunks, and it was a little smoother. The old fashioned oats were a lot bigger and had more of a rubbery texture. Also, there was less moisture in the old fashioned oats. The steel cut oats also had a rubbery texture, but the pieces were a little smaller and harder. 

After trying all three, I think my favorite one was the quick oats, simply because I liked the texture. 
If I were to make this again, I would try adding salt to the water or add fruit to the oats to see if that would enhance the flavor. 


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Couscous

During this unit we learned about grains and the different forms of grains. We were given a list of different grains and were told to prepare one of them. Our group chose to prepare couscous, a grain that is similar to rice, only smaller. Other groups chose to prepare white rice, brown rice, and grits. Here's how we cooked 2 servings of couscous:

1. Put away remaining dishes and prepare sink for washing more dishes.

2. Gather all equipment:
- Medium saucepan
- Dry measuring cups
- Liquid measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon
- Knife
- Bowls (to serve)
- Spoons (to eat with)

3. Gather all ingredients:
- 3/4 c. couscous
- 1 c. water
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 T. butter

4. In medium saucepan, combine water, salt, and butter. Bring to a boil.


5. After the mixture is just boiling, stir in the couscous and cover the pan with the lid.



6. After couscous is cooked, remove from the heat, keeping the lid on, and let it sit for 5 minutes.

7. Fluff the couscous lightly with a fork before serving.



8. Clean up the kitchen - do remaining dishes.

9. Enjoy the couscous!! Yummy!!




If we were to do this again, I don't think I'd really change anything. I think the couscous turned out really well, and I'm happy with how our group worked together.

After trying all the other grains that different groups prepared, I'd have to say that I liked the couscous the best - by far! The brown rice wasn't cooked all the way, so it was kind of gross. The white rice was really bland, and the grits had a weird slimy-corn texture that made it hard to eat. I'm not saying that they're bad grains, they just weren't my favorite :)


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Homemade Ice Cream

Ingredients:
- 1 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1 c. milk
- 1/4 c. white sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 bag crushed ice
- 1 c. coarse salt
- 2 pint-sized bags
- 1 gallon sized bag

1. Start out by preparing the kitchen. Put away all remaining dishes, wipe the counters and prepare the sink for washing more dishes.

2. Combine whipping cream, milk, white sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and stir until dissolved.

3. Pour this mixture into one of the pint-sized bags and seal it, squeezing out as much air as possible.

4. Place this sealed bag into the other pint-sized bag and seal it tightly.

5. Fill the gallon-sized bag 1/2 full of ice and add 1/2 cup of salt to the ice.

6. Place the pint-sized bag mixture into the gallon-sized bag and seal it tightly, squeezing out as much air as possible.

7. Cover the bag with a towel (to protect hands) and massage/shake for 5-10 minutes. Check it every once in a while to see if the mixture is thickening. If it is not thicker after 10 minutes, add more salt.

8. When mixture has thickened, take out of the bag and pour into a bowl to serve. Enjoy!

Overall, I think we worked together as a group really well. The ice cream was really good, and I'm really impressed with how smoothly everything went! If we were to do it again, I think I would have added a little more ice to the bag to speed up the process.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Stir Fry

1. Put away remaining dishes and prepare the sink for washing dishes.

2. Get out all equipment:
- Cutting board
- Damp hand towel or wash cloth
- Chef's knife
- Frying pan
- Spoon
- Dry measuring cups

3. Get out all ingredients:
- Potato
- White onion
- Carrots
- Zucchini
- Broccoli
- Vegetable oil (3/4 t)
- Soy sauce  (1 tsp)

4. Cut the veggies
- Potato - julienned
- White onion - julienned
- Carrots - julienned
- Zucchini - julienned
- Broccoli - florets

5. Measure out vegetable oil and pour into frying pan.

6. Put on high heat and stir fry the vegetables until they have cooked.

7. Add soy sauce (and optional ground ginger) and serve. Enjoy!



This recipe was unlike any recipe I've ever done before. I learned a lot from it. I think we did our cuts very neatly, and we all watched each other to make sure we were safe and proper. The stir fry was pretty good, even though I'm not a huge veggie fan. If we were to do it again, I think we should cook it just a little bit longer.