Saturday, January 17, 2015

Strawberry Daiquiri Swiss Roll in an RV

 I was perusing Facebook this morning, just as I tend to do every morning. I came across a post from 12tomatoes.com featuring a Strawberry Cream Swiss Roll.
Now, I love these types of desserts but I've never this type of dessert before. I figured what the hell...no time like the present.
I read through the recipe. It was pretty straight forward, well written and looked simple enough. I made Bob take me to the store for strawberries. And eggs. And, well...there was some other stuff in there, too.
I got to work. The first photo is creaming the eggs and my version of caster sugar together.
 I lined a quarter baking sheet with parchment, I buttered the parchment and floured it because...well, I don't know why, but that's what 12tomatoes said to do.
 I pureed some strawberries and here is where I went off the path with this recipe. I'll explain more in just a sec.
 This is the sponge when it came out of the oven.
 This is the sponge when I took the parchment off of it.
 I covered it with a damp kitchen towel so that it didn't dry out.
 Yes, I know...my kitchen is a hot mess but I'm working now, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
 This was NOT part of 12tomatoes.com's recipe...here is where my "daiquiri" part comes in. This is some...
 coconut that I toasted up.
 I added the pureed strawberries into freshly whipped cream. Then I folded in some chopped strawberries.
 I spread a thin layer of toasted coconut over the whole thing...
 And rolled it up!
 It got topped with some of the toasted coconut, too. I can't wait to dig into this tonight after dinner!
Baked Lava's Strawberry Daiquiri Swiss Roll

Sponge Cake:

4 large eggs
1/2 cup superfine sugar (I did this in my food processor...I simply measured out the amount of sugar needed and gave it a buzz.)
2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sifted flour plus extra to dust baking sheet with

Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup superfine sugar (see above notes)
1/3 cup pureed strawberries
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1 teaspoon rum extract

1/2 cup toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a quarter-sized sheet pan with parchment paper, butter the parchment thoroughly, making sure to get in the corners and on the sides. Dust with flour.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs with sugar until light in color. Add in extracts and water. Sift in the flour and mix until completely incorporated.
Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until the middle of the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Spread a piece of parchment paper onto your work surface and sprinkle it evenly with some of the superfine sugar. Invert cake onto sugar topped parchment paper. Carefully remove the pan and the parchment. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let it cool completely. The towel will keep the sponge cake moist.
Buzz up some strawberries into a puree in a food processor until you have 1/3 cup of puree. Hull and chop up more strawberries to make 1/2 cup.
Whip the cream until it gets to soft peak stage. Add sugar, rum extract and strawberry puree. Continue whipping until it forms very stiff peaks. Fold in chopped strawberries.
In the meantime, toast your coconut in the oven until it is golden brown. Keep an eye on it because it will burn quickly. Cool completely.
Spread the cream evenly over the sponge leaving about 1/2 an inch edge all the way around. Sprinkle an evenly layer of coconut over the cream. Roll that sucker up, sprinkle with the rest of the coconut and some powdered sugar, if that's your gig and chow down!!

Recipe adapted from 12tomatoes.com

Enjoy...PEACE!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Great Dietary Debate in an RV

I haven't posted all that much in the last year, but I have been busy. I used to think that GMOs were evil and bad and all that. I've changed my mind on all of that. There hasn't been enough research done to show me where they are evil.

The world has a massive population. The one thing that every single person on the planet needs is food. It doesn't matter what your diet is, you need to eat.

Lately, I've been railing against certain bloggers (one of which has an "army") and their utter and complete nonsense.  I think that all of these bloggers are trying to sway people away from "the dark side" using the age-old tactic of plain fear. I do not live my life in fear. I live my life. Period. Bob and I have both faced life changing illnesses and/or injuries and have come out on the other side and we are both still here.

The only thing that I have done differently is to change our diet. By that, I mean, I cook from scratch more often. I didn't use to do this all the time. When your husband is putting in 70 hours per week at work and you are putting in 40 hours per week, sometimes, a box of Hamburger Helper is all you have the time and energy to make. And, you know, there's not one damn thing wrong with a box of Hamburger Helper for dinner every now and then.

When I quit my job as a cocktail server and stayed home, that changed things. I was able to cook from scratch more and more. When I started my cooking around the world project, I had to teach myself all these different techniques, recipes and so forth. What used to be difficult for me to do has now become second nature.

I recently started a new job as the head of the kitchen at a local senior center. I run the entire kitchen. I had no idea when I started blogging six years ago that I would wind up doing something of this magnitude. I, thoroughly, enjoy what I do. It's part-time, it gets me out of the house and interacting with people from all walks of life and I get to hang out with people from my favorite age group...our senior citizens. There is a wealth of knowledge to be learned from these guys!

I cook for people who don't eat soup, who are vegetarian, who have some pretty severe dietary restrictions and who are just plain picky. But, I like a challenge, so I meet each day head on.

I think that everyone has the choice of how and what they want to eat. I do not agree with some of what I read and, you know what? I don't have to. What I do have to do is respect other peoples' right to choose. I'll not blow smoke up someone's ass and pretend to understand why someone wants to be vegan/vegetarian because I don't understand it, at all. But, I will respect it. I will gladly learn about it and I'll even try a recipe or two if they sound appealing to me.

I see all these gung-ho people on Facebook and Twitter and other social media outlets saying that if a person raises beef cattle that they are "raping" the cattle (I think they are talking about the use of artificial insemination) and a plethora of other weird stuff. While it may not be weird to them, what they are saying, it's weird to me and, if you have followed me on this blog or on social media, you'll know that I'm pretty blunt and to the point and I call it as I see it and people who say that cattle ranchers/farmers are "raping" cattle...well, that is just weird. But, that's their gig and they can say whatever they want to say. It doesn't make the gospel truth, but they can say it. It doesn't mean I'm not going to say that I don't think it is bullshit, because I do think it's bullshit.

What people do not get to do is dictate to me what I put on my dinner table each night. That's pretty damn arrogant, in my opinion. I do not have to buy "all organic". I do not have to be afraid of GMOs. If we want a steak, we'll have a damn steak and because someone may get all up in arms over it doesn't mean that I'll lose a wink of sleep because I offended their delicate sensibilities. I've been called a "murderer" because I eat meat. Well, so be it. I'm still going to eat meat. When it is MY money at stake, I'll buy what I damn well want to buy and, unless these people fork out some dough for my grocery shopping excursions, well, what can I say except that they can go kick rocks for all I care.

I did a little experiment just yesterday with the lady that took me grocery shopping for the senior center. I plan all the menus there. We were in a Kroger store. Kroger is stocking a helluva organic grocery section lately. Their "organic" dried black beans were sitting at eye level on a shelf. The package screamed out ORGANIC. Well, we looked at the ingredient list on the package. Yep, dried black beans. It was roughly $3 for 12 ounces. We looked at the non-organic version that was sitting two shelves below the organic stuff. It was the exact same size of package, 12 ounces. This package was around $1. We looked at the ingredient list and, you guessed it, it listed the EXACT same ingredient of dried black beans. I know people are advocating for GMO labeling and the opponents of labeling say that it will cost more to label. Well, here's the deal. Label them or don't label them...it doesn't matter. We are all being played for suckers by the food industry.

Again, if you want to buy the $3 package of organic dried black beans, that is completely fine. Go ahead and do so. As for me, I'm going to buy the $1 package and use the other $2 to put toward some good Tanzanian peaberry coffee that I really love. I just want you all to realize that it is a marketing ploy. Of course, the organic movement wants GMOs to be labeled. There is a reason for this. If GMOs have to be labeled, the organic movement is hoping that the cost of the GMO products will be driven up to equal what people are shelling out for organic. It's all a big scam to part our hard earned dollars from our pockets into theirs. Whole Foods profits were only 2 billions dollars less than what Monsanto's were this past year.

Now, onto these fear bloggers. It is my sincere hope that you take what they say with a complete grain of salt. Most of them have no scientific background, whatsoever. What they do understand is how to market...and they can market themselves to the nines. As long as you are afraid and they can convince you that their way will save your life and you'll live to be a thousand years old and you click on their affiliate links, they will keep acting like they know everything. They demand transparency from the food industry...how about showing us some transparency in their profit margins from gullible people who have bought the whole snake oil bullshit? It's a scam, people. It truly is.

Now onto GMOs. Monsanto is not the devil or Satan or Monsatan (my personal favorite) because they want to feed the world's growing population. I'm not a fan of Monsanto for personal reasons and those reasons stem back to the Vietnam War, in which, my husband fought in. I have my own reasons for not being a Monsanto fan, but they are mine and nobody else's. I'm not against GMOs because study after study has shown them to perfectly fine. While I am an heirloom gardener, I'm losing the whole tag of being an "organic" farmer because the whole organic thing pisses me off. It's a money making scam.  If I want to grow a Monsanto developed seed for Bob and I to eat, I would suggest that the anti-GMO/organic movement get the hell over it. I'm not asking them to eat it. I'm feeding it to us, not them. They are not going to "save" us. We are fine. We eat corn tortillas and we haven't grown a third head.

No, anymore, I'm not buying into any of that bullshit. And, speaking of which, I need to start buying bags of bullshit to amend my garden soil for this coming growing season.

Peace!



Friday, December 12, 2014

Sometimes, You Just Get Dumped On in an RV

 I did cook a Thanksgiving dinner this year. I'll be completely honest in saying that I wasn't really into all that much.
If you know me on Facebook, you'll already have heard of what I'm about to post.

 On October 24th, Bob walked into his mom's home and found her dead, on her kitchen floor, in a pool of blood. Bob is a disabled Vietnam veteran. Bob went into a flashback because he has been diagnosed with and has VA rated PTSD. Bob was NOT combative or anything, but, because a sergeant wouldn't listen to me when I tried to tell him what was going on and went on a bit of, in my opinion, a power trip, Bob was arrested for obstruction of a law enforcement officer. We are still in limbo and awaiting the official outcome of this charge. But, suffice it to say that my husband's last moments, other than the funeral home, with his mother, were of finding her like that and watching the coroner bring her out of her home while in the back of a squad car in handcuffs.
She was laid to rest on October 31st. Ann is sorely missed by everyone. She was such an amazing lady who lived a rather fascinating and amazing life. I really, truly miss her.
Not long after that, just after I started cooking for the Kelso Senior Center, I got a call that my father was taken by ambulance and put in ICU. Then, I got a call from ICU letting me know that he did not have much longer. My father passed away on November 30th.
May he rest in peace. I'll miss knowing that my father is not here.


 I'm finding it so hard to get motivated for anything this Christmas. I haven't made any of my usual Christmas goodies. I'm pretty spun around here right at the moment.
Bob and I will celebrate 9 years of marriage on Sunday. It seems like a lifetime of events that the two of us have gone through.
I'll be ok...in my own time...and I appreciate all the thoughts that you've all sent my way. I know I'm not the best at expressing my thanks. I'm not into all that mushy stuff. I will be ok, though.
Bob and I started a new Christmas tradition. This year, we sent "Junior's" nephew home to his dad and stepmom where he will be loved and wanted and not, in my opinion, abused by some twisted people. That is our Christmas present to this young man, his family back east and for Bob and I. It's enough. I'm happy with my Christmas this year, even if I don't bake those tedious, damn cookies!
Merry Christmas! Peace!