Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Monday, May 27, 2013

How to Make a Cheese Sauce

Making a cheese sauce is simple and something everyone should know how to do.  This sauce is wonderful over broccoli (or other veggies), stirred into rice, as the cheese in mac-n-cheese, over chips to make nachos, as fondue, and anything else you can imagine.  You can tweak the taste by using different cheeses.  Asiago, any blue cheese, Brie, Camembert, Colby, fontina, Gouda, Gruyère, Havarti, and Monterey Jack all melt smoothly.  Always remove the rind from any cheese before using it in cheese sauce. 

Servings: 2 ½ cups
Time:    Prep: 5 minutes, Cook: 10 minutes
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a whisk, a wooden spoon, a sauce pan

  • ⅛ cup butter
  • ⅛ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in the flour, mustard, and pepper.  Make sure there are no lumps.
  3. Slowly stir in the milk until it is smooth.
  4. Stir in the grated cheese.
  5. Stir constantly until the sauce is melted and thick.  Serve warm.

Healthy Ingredients Make Real Food

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Panko Crusted Tofu

Tofu is made of soybean curd.  It is high in calcium and protein and is very easy to digest.  It is also low in calories and cholesterol free.  Tofu itself really doesn’t have a flavor, but rather takes on other flavors through marinades and seasonings.  It comes in many varieties: firm, soft, silken, and crumbles.  The variety you should choose will depend upon the recipe it will be used in.  Popular in Asian cooking, tofu is also used as a meat substitute by Western vegetarians. 

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I am not a vegetarian.  However, we do celebrate Meatless Mondays at our house.  And, I go through periods where I am just not that interested in meat.  Also, I like the texture of firm tofu. When I was a starving college student it was a cheap source of protein and I became hooked.

Servings: 2-4
Time:  Prep: 20 minutes   Cooking:  5-7 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, measuring spoons and cups, 3 shallow bowls, a fork, a whisk, 2 paper towel covered plates, extra paper towels, a deep skillet, and tongs

  • 7 ounces of extra firm tofu (I like Nasoya)*
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying (enough to fill the pan half way)

  1. Cut the tofu into 2x2 inch squares.  Lay the squares on to the paper towel covered plate and allow some of the water to drain from the tofu.  You might want to change the paper towels a few times.  Sprinkle the tofu with the tablespoons of garlic, ginger, and onion powders, and the salt.  You should flip the squares around so that each side gets seasoned.
  2. Put the corn starch into in the first bowl.
  3. In the second bowl, whisk the eggs
  4. In the third and final bowl, toss together the panko and the remaining spices.
  5. Dip the tofu into the cornstarch and shake to remove the excess.  Dip the corn starched tofu into the eggs and then press it into the panko to make sure it is covered.  Make sure to press down so that the panko adheres.
  6. Fill the skillet half way with oil and heat on medium high.
  7. Fry the tofu for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  Flip and fry the other side until it is browned.  This should take another 2 minutes.
  8. Remove the tofu to a paper towel covered plate to drain. 

Serve with rice and stir-fried sugar snaps.
Or you can serve the tofu as an appetizer with Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Sauce
*Tofu comes in 14 ounce containers.  To keep the unused portion simply place it in an airtight container with fresh water.