Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Patty Shell or Rosettes Recipe

Patty Shells, also known as Rosettes or Snowflake Cookies are delicate, mild flavored, individually fried cookies. You fry the rosettes with a patty shell iron in melted vegetable shortening. Dust the rosettes with powdered sugar and you will have cookies that look just like snowflakes. These make wonderful holiday or wintertime cookies. I have also made rosettes for bridal shower and baby shower treats.

Rosettes (Snowflake Cookies)
Rosette/Snowflake Cookie Recipe

            Heat 1 ½ pounds of shortening to 365 degrees. You can use a candy thermometer to determine the temperature.

          Make batter:
1 cup flour
1-3 teaspoons sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg, unbeaten
½ teaspoon salt
    Mix the batter ingredients until smooth.

Patty Shell Mold
   Heat the patty shell mold by dipping it into the melted shortening for about 15 seconds. Let the excess oil drain off.

           Dip the mold into the batter. Hold it level and avoid getting the batter on the top of the mold. It will be difficult to remove the patty shell if the batter fries over the top. Dip the mold just enough for the batter to come up the sides of the mold, so it can slide off easily.

3        Dip the batter-covered mold in the shortening for about 45 seconds or until lightly browned.

            The rosette should fall off the mold when you remove it from the shortening. If it doesn’t fall off on its own,  you can gently push it off the mold with tip of a fork.

5         Place the snowflake cookies on a paper towel to remove any extra oil.

            Sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar. You can use a sifter to spread the sugar evenly across the  rosettes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nutrition and Serving Ideas for Ramen Noodles

By Jastrow (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Although low in calories, convenient and inexpensive, ramen noodles do not add much nutrition to your diet. You can, however, flavor vegetables and meats with ramen noodles or serve ramen noodles as a side dish to make sure you get protein, vitamins and minerals into your meal plan. Eating just a packet of Ramen Noodles mixed with water provides you with only a trace of the nutrition you need each day and an excessive amount
of sodium.

Traces of Vitamins

One package, including noodles of any flavor ramen noodles contains almost zero vitamin C, so you need to supplement your meal with foods that contain vitamin C, such as oranges, kiwi, sweet peppers or berries. A serving of ramen noodles provides about 4 milligrams of niacin, which is about 29 percent of the daily recommended intake of 14 milligrams. Niacin helps your metabolism to produce energy and is necessary for brain function and healthy blood cells. Only scant traces of vitamins B6, B12 and A are found in a packet of ramen noodles. 

Scant Minerals

Of the 1,000 milligrams daily recommended intake of calcium, a serving of ramen noodles has only 18 milligrams. You can add more calcium to your meal with a side of yogurt, milk or cheese. Another mineral, iron is essential for carrying oxygen through your bloodstream and producing amino acids. Your body needs about 18 milligrams of iron each day but a serving of ramen noodles only contains about 3.5 milligrams. If you add pumpkin seeds, spinach or kidney beans to your serving of ramen noodles, it will increase your iron intake for the day.

High in Sodium

Sodium is the one mineral with the highest concentration in ramen noodles. A serving has almost a full day’s, 2,000 milligrams recommended allowance of sodium with over 1,600 milligrams. According to the American Heart Association, consuming too much sodium can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure. Limiting the amount of ramen noodles you eat regularly can help keep your salt intake down. Using only half of the dry flavor packet will also decrease the sodium in your meal.

Harvard Medical School recommends eating a balance of animal and vegetable proteins to ensure your body gets all the essential amino acids. A serving of ramen noodles contains about 9 grams of protein, which is almost 20 percent of the daily recommended intake of 46 grams. You can add more protein to your meal with nuts, seeds, beans and lean meat to add protein to your diet. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Butternut Squash Is a Great Source of Beta-Carotene

Are you planning on butternut squash as a side dish for Thanksgiving dinner? Good choice... butternut squash is packed full of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by your metabolism.

Vitamin A helps you maintain healthy vision, strengthens your blood vessels and much more.

Butternut squash also has healthy carbs and fiber, which helps with digestion and vitamin C, as well.

Not only is butternut squash delicious, it's nutritious for your family. You can mash butternut squash with a little butter, brown sugar and cinnamon or bake it with apples and sweet potatoes. Don't forget squash pie for Thanksgiving too... healthy and sweet!

Read more about Butternut squash nutrition and the benefits of adding this winter squash to your meal plans at SF Gate.

Image Credit By George Chernilevsky (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Carbohydrates and Nutrition in Quinoa

For over 5000 years, people of the Andes have eaten quinoa as their main staple, calling it “mother grain.” Quinoa seeds may be small but they add a nutritional wallop to your diet. Known as a pseudograin, quinoa is actually a fruit and its dried seeds provide the nutritional value. Quinoa seeds are available in red, white and black but all the seeds provide the same amount of nutrition. Quinoa contains all of the essential amino acids, along with vitamins, minerals antioxidants, making it a complete protein food. Quinoa also contains complex carbohydrates that  give you energy.

Complex Carbohydrates

When it comes to finding foods that provide your brain with the glucose it needs for energy, look no further than complex carbohydrates. About 100 to 200 grams of complex carbohydrates per day is recommended for optimum brain function. A one-cup serving of quinoa provides almost 110 grams of carbohydrates (35 percent DV for women and 25 percent DV for men) and about 12 grams of fiber (40 percent DV for men and women). Your body digests high fiber, complex carbohydrates slowly, helping your blood sugar to remain stable. Most foods that contain simple carbohydrates, such as desserts, candy and sodas, cause a rise in blood sugar. Dr. Walter Willet of Harvard University School of Public Health recommends eating whole grain carbohydrates in foods like quinoa.


Quinoa is gluten free food that provides 24 grams of protein in one cup (45 percent DV for women and 35 percent DV for men). This pseudograin contains the nine essential amino acids required by your metabolism to manufacture new proteins, making quinoa a complete protein. The amino acids in quinoa help your body grow healthy cells, tissue and bones, as well as producing hormones and enzymes.

Vitamins and Minerals

The growing popularity of quinoa today is due to its natural balance of essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Quinoa provides almost 8 grams of ironin a cup. Some of the minerals in quinoa include zinc (47 percent DV for women and 37 percent DV for men) and magnesium (128 percent DV for women and 102 percent DV for men). Vitamins such as, riboflavin (52 percent DV for women and 49 percent DV for men) and vitamin B-6 (24 percent DV for women and 19 percent DV for men) also add to quinoa nutrition. Quinoa also has 10 grams of fat per one-cup serving but only 1 gram of saturated fat.

Preparation Tips and Serving Suggestions

Before preparing quinoa, rinse it thoroughly to remove the natural, bitter-tasting coating on the seeds. Add cooked quinoa to salads, hot breakfast cereals, soups, and bread or muffin recipes. You can also use quinoa flour for baking.

For more quinoa recipes, visit Ohio State University: Live Healthy, Live Well Team Whole Grains, --Quinoa Recipes  

USDA Nutrient Database: Quinoa

Quinoa Image By Michael Hermann (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons