Cake Box Cookies

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This is the easiest way of making cookies and you can do so with any of your favourite cake box recipes

Ingredients

  • Your favourite cake box
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp of vanilla (optional)
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts or chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Open up the cake box and put into a mixing bowel
  3. Add eggs, oil, vanilla and optional nuts or chocolate chips
  4. Stir until well mixed
  5. Put into the refrigerator between 1/2 to 1 hour for firm up batter
  6. Using a 1 1/2″ cookie scope or table spoon, roll batter between hands for make a 1 1/2″ ball of cookie dough
  7. Roll in sugar and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silicon pad
  8. Bake for about 10-12 minutes
  9. Remove and let cool about 1 minute before placing on the cooling rack
  10. To keep moist place cooled cookies in an airtight container

Enjoy

Curry Comfort

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (.907 kg) beef or chicken
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic (finely diced)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 3 inch piece of ginger (finely diced) or 1-2 tsps
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how “hot” you want it)
  • 2-3 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 (13 oz.) cans of unsweetened coconut milk (or use beef or chicken broth)
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Add oil, beef or chicken to a skillet and season with salt and pepper
  2. Cook meat on medium heat until golden brown and both sides
  3. Remove meat and set aside
  4. Add onion and cook til transparent
  5. Add ginger, garlic and spices and cook to release fragrance (1 minute)
  6. Add coconut milk or broth and simmer.
  7. Return meat to skillet and simmer for about an hour
  8. Serve topped with yogurt and a slice of naan bread

Enjoy

Easy Focaccia

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Foccacia3

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast, active dry or instant (1 gm) or use 1/8 teaspoon yeast and mother from previous bake – see how to make
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6 gms)
  • 1 1/2 cups water not boiling (354 mL)
  • (about 2 Tablespoons extra flour for shaping)
  • Rectangular pan or casserole dish
  • wrks4me_terry_tested-11Parchment Paper
  • Olive oil and herbs of your preference (ie. Herbs Provence, Italian Seasoning or Rosemary)

Directions

FIRST RISE

  1. Put all of the ingredients except for the Extra flour into a bowl
  2. Mix all together til well blended
  3. Put plastic wrap over top and put in a non drafty place for 8-12 hours

SECOND RISE

  1. After 8-12 hours the dough mixture should have risen and appears bubbly
  2. Remove plastic wrap and with a spatula gently fold the dough over itself a few times. 
  3. Line a rectangular pan or casserole dish with parchment paper
  4. Turn out dough onto parchment paper and gently spread out with fingers to edges
  5. Cover with a dry towel and let rise 35 minutes to 1 1/2 depending on how dense you wish the bread. The longer it rises the more airy it will be.
  6. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. (I use 400, others use 450 depending on your oven)
  7. Prepare olive oil mixture (olive oil and herbs, I use Herbs Provence but you can use Rosemary or Italian Seasoning)
  8. foccacia1After dough has risen a second time, now is the time to create “dimples” in the dough by dipping your finger in some olive oil and press them all over the dough to create “dimples”.
  9. foccacia2Brush the olive oil mixture over top of dough and sprinkle with some Kosher salt is you like.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered or until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F.
  11. Remove bread to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Enjoy

Tortellini & Sausage Soup

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sausage tortellini soup3

IngredientsCovid Comfort Food

  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
  • 8 oz (225 g) Italian sausage meat (casing removed)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped) or 1 tsp chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 ml) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) lentils, rinsed and drained or 1/2 cup 125 ml dried lentils
  • 1 lb cheese or meat filled tortellini
  • 3 cups (750 ml) lightly packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheesewrks4me_terry_tested-11

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan add oil,sausage and onion cook over medium heat until meat is cooked
  2. Add garlic and carrots and stir for 5 minutes
  3. Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, tomatoes, chicken broth and vinegar.
  4. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low for 5 minutes
  5. Stir in canned lentils (note is using dried pre-cook them) and tortellini and simmer until tortellini is tender
  6. Stir in spinach, cover and turn off heat. Let stand for a minute or so until spinach is wilted

Instantpot Version

  1. In the Instantpot add oil,sausage and onion to Instantpot and saute until meat is cooked
  2. Add garlic and carrots and stir for 5 minutes
  3. Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, tomatoes, chicken broth, dried lentils and vinegar.
  4. Cover and select “soup”
  5. After soup has finished, manually vent and remove lid when completely vented
  6. Add tortellini as well as spinach and simmer until tortellini is tender
  7. Serve, once tortellini and spinach is cooked

Serve with a sprinkling of cheese.

Yeast – How to save yeast for another loaf

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Covid Comfort FoodIf you’re finding yeast a hard commodity during this pandemic,  think of this technique of stretching your existing bread yeast to last and last.

Technique

  1. If you have started making bread (try my recipe for no kneed bread), allow the dough to rise the first time. Then before the second rise, take a good pinch (about a heaping tablespoon) and put it in a clean container with a top.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of lukewarm water
  3. Mix very, very well and put it in the fridge with a lid on (can be stored for up to 2 weeks). Make sure there is no mold development otherwise you have to discard it.
  4. When you are ready to make another loaf add the mixture to the batter instead of adding dry yeast.
  5. Let it rise as usual and repeat procedure (1) as taking a pinch of bread dough and putting in a container with equal amounts of flour and water, then store in the fridge.

NOTE: If you find your bread does not rise as high as you’d like, you can give a little boost to the yeast, just add 1/8th to 1/4 tsp to your bread batter after you have added this starter.

No Kneed Dutch Oven Bread

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No kneed bread

WCovid Comfort Foode are all staying inside during these trying time. So what better way of passing time then to make some bread. Here is a simple way to making yourself and someone you love happy during this pandemic. MAKE BREAD.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast, active dry or instant (1 gm)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6 gms)
  • 1 1/2 cups water not boiling (354 mL)
  • (about 2 Tablespoons extra flour for shaping)
  • Dutch Oven
  • wrks4me_terry_tested-11Parchment Paper

Directions

FIRST RISE

  1. Put all of the ingredients except for the Extra flour into a bowl
  2. Mix all together til well blended
  3. Put plastic wrap over top and put in a non drafty place for 8-12 hours

SECOND RISE

  1. After 8-12 hours the dough mixture should have risen and appears bubbly
  2. Dust your surface with flour and gently turn out dough mixture
  3. Dust the to of the mixture and fold dough over a few time. Shape into a ball and place into a parchment lined bowl. (You don’t have to use parchment, but it makes it easier to lift out)
  4. Cover bowl and let rise 35 minutes to 1 1/2 depending on how dense you wish the bread. The longer it rises the more airy it will be.
  5. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. (I use 400, others use 450 depending on your oven)
  6. Put your dutch oven in the oven to get it piping hot (25-30 minutes)
  7. Once the dutch oven is hot, [Be careful to remove dutch oven (very hot)], place parchment with dough directly in the dutch oven, and cover. (if not using parchment drop dough directly into dutch oven).
  8. Bake for 30 minutes with cover on and then remove cover and continue to cook for 5-20 minutes or until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F.
  9. Be careful to remove dutch oven (very hot) and remove bread to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Adapted from original recipe

Original Video Instructions

 

 

Covid Comfort Soup

Covid Comfort FoodDuring these trying times, I hope all is staying well and inside and if you must go out for groceries or to walk the dog around the block for the 10th today, you are observing physical (social) distancing. The other thing we can do is to use up what we have in the fridge so as not to waste and put an undue demand on our food distribution system.

Stay well by staying inside.

Covid Soup 3

Covid SoupIngredients:

  • 1/2 medium cabbage (diced)
  • 3 stalks of celery (diced)
  • 2 large carrots (diced)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 3 medium potatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 cup pot or pearl barley (rice)
  • 1 can (pasta sauce)
  • 2 containers 900 ml each (4 cups) of broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)

(Use up your vegetables in the fridge you feel would make a great soup)

Directionswrks4me_terry_tested-11

  1. Put all the vegetables into a deep pot and saute lightly for 10 minutes
  2. Pour in the pasta sauce and your favorite broth.
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Reduce and simmer for 2-3 hours until slightly tender
  5. Put in your barley or rice an hour before serving (if using pasta cook separately, then drop into your bowl when serving. Once soup has cooled down, put remaining pasta into the soup so as not to overcook it).

Instant Pot Cooking Option 2

  1. Put all vegetables into the Instant Pot and saute for 10 minutes
  2. Put broth and pasta sauce, barley or rice into the pot
  3. Put on lid and select soup option.
  4. (If using pasta cook separately, then drop into your bowl when serving. Once soup has cooled down, put remaining pasta into the soup so as not to overcook it).

Enjoy and keep safe

 

 

 

Anxiety & Panic Attacks

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panic

Anxiety or Panic Attack sufferers…you’re in good company

Amanda Seyfried • John Mayer • Lena Dunham
Oprah Winfrey • Emma Stone • Howie Mandel
Whoopi Goldberg • Barbra Streisand • Kim Basinger
Lady Gaga • Selena Gomez • Stephen Colbert
Ariana Grande • Ryan Reynolds • Carson Daly
Prince Harry • Missy Elliot • Chris Evans
Jennifer Lopez • Kristen Bell • Leonardo Dicaprio
Adele • Hugh Grant

 Isn’t Anxiety and Panic Attacks The Same Thing?

No, though they share similar, symptoms they are different.

Anxiety (Worry) vs Panic Attacks (Fear) what’s the difference?

Panic Attacks have a direct endocrine stress-response with the release of adrenaline (adrenaline rush) but little production of cortisol (stress hormone). It is the reaction to a perceived imminent threat

Anxiety produces the stress hormone cortisol and is perceived as a distant, uncertain, abstract threat. An anxiety attack could be considered as “worry”. Will you have enough money this month to pay your mortgage.

A panic “attack” is not an attack. It’s a false alarm (Your body is sending you a false messages from your fear system) It’s a mistake, it’s saying “better safe than sorry”

A panic attack is not trying to attack you, it’s trying to attack an invisible threat 

The problem is that this “false alarm” feels the same as a real one.

A panic attack is an overreaction to a perceived threat

Isn’t it interesting that a panic attack as a certain negative stigma placed on it, yet and actor who says they get “stage fright” is considered a normal response. No difference but the term.

In nature, panic attacks are there to keep you safe. It’s like a leg cramp, it’s involuntary. Panic attacks are triggers by learned fears

Remember your subconsciousness mind is just as awake as you are. Who is really doing the driving as you are talking to someone. Your active mind is controlling the conversation, but the subconscious is controlling the car.

The amygdala is set of nerves deep in the brain and is key in processing emotions and acts as our radar, looking out for your safety. It is key in the response to stress.

Mistakes people make in trying to cope with panic attacks

  1. Trying to fight a panic attack
  2. Unproductive distraction techniques
  3. Avoiding or running away from situations (these can make things work)
  4. Feeling bad or ashamed about a natural response (you think you’re going crazy)
  5. Asking pointless questions such as “why me” (these will only exasperate the situation). Accept what is happening as natural and your response is natural as well.

What Should I Do?

  1. First TURN OFF off the adrenaline tap
  2. Remember that you will begin to feel better in about 10 MINUTES as your symptoms dissipate
  3. Accept you are having an episode and STOP FIGHTING, you’re only adding fuel to the fire
  4. SIT DOWN with both feet planted on the ground and just DO NOTHING
  5. Take “slow breaths, breath in for 5 seconds in and breath out for 5 seconds. DO NOT TAKE DEEP BREATHS as they will make you light headed and your body will over-react to it as a threat.
  6. WRIST FOREARM TECHNIQUE. Roll up your sleeves and put your feet on the floor and grab your elbows by criss-crossing your arms. Draw your hands along your arms down to your wrists. Repeat again and again as this is very soothing. This has a distracting effect from your mind.
  7. TAKE NOTE of 3 things you can see, 3 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel. This makes you more mindful
  8. STOP TRYING TO SUPPRESS A THOUGHT it makes it stronger, more tenacious, more frequent and more enduring
  9. Your body wants to run away, so don’t give in to it. Realize that what you’re experiencing is your “stress system” sending a FALSE SIGNAL signal of fear.False Alarm
  10. Your “stress system” is there to protect you NOT HARM YOU. The more you focus on the “attack” the stronger it will become.
  11. Symptoms are uncomfortable, but NOT dangerous
  12. Keep in mind that you need to TRUST YOURSELF. You are in charge and you are capable of handling this “crisis”
  13. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, if you are beginning to get sweaty palms, that’s a clue that your body is under stress and the mind will consider it as a threat and thus begins the “stress cycle”. So listening for warning signs from your body and act on them to reduce the risk of a panic attack.
  14. KEEP A JOURNAL of the frequency, intensity and length of each panic attack. Whether there were any factors that contributed to the event.  This will put you in control and you will then see a pattern.
  15. Remember, this too SHALL PASS like gas

The symptoms of an anxiety or panic attack are uncomfortable but not dangerous

These are my observations as an anxiety and panic attack victim. I have gathered my observations and techniques along with those of others to help to cope. I am not a medical practitioner. Please consult with your physician regarding your situation.

 

 

 

Hummingbird Cake

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Humminbird Cake

Ingredientswrks4me_terry_tested-11

Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (NOT DRAINED) (8 ounces)
  • 2 cups chopped bananas (1 1/2 cups mashed) or 3 bananas
  • Shortening (for greasing pan)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (toasted pecans)

Icing

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2-3/4 cup(s) flaked coconut (depending on your taste)
  • 1-2 package(s) of cream cheese (8 ounces ea., depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 4 cups of icing sugar (16 ounces)
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla (depending on your taste)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl
  3. Add eggs and oil, stir until ingredients are moistened
  4. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas and 1 cup of chopped toasted pecans (put pecans on a baking sheet and put under the broiler for a minute or two while stirring to ensure they don’t burn)
  5. Pour batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch cake pans
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes our clean.
  7. Remove from pans after cooling for about 10 minutes and then cool cake completely before icing (about 1 hour)
  8. Cream butter in mixer and add vanilla and gradually add icing sugar. Stir in coconut.
  9. Spread 1 cups of cream cheese icing over first layer and top with second layer and top with another cup of icing, then top with last layer and frost the top and sides with remaining icing. Decorate top with pecan half’s and pecan pieces

Note: I know prefer to use two jello roll pans (these pans are smaller than a cookie sheet) lined with parchment paper instead of cake pans. I use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter between the pans. This makes 4 equal layers. Back around 15-20 minutes instead of 30 minutes as they are less thick. Once each layer is cooled enough I simply cut them in half including the parchment paper and stack them onto of each other til I’m ready to frost them. I then remove the parchment paper and ice each layer but not the sides. I then trim each side to make it nice and neat. To serve cut the cake down the middle and then serve 1-2 inch slices.

Original Recipe Link

 

Apples 101

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apples 101

Good to know?

  • Apples are members of the rose family
  • Apple trees take about 4 to 5 years to produce fruit
  • Apple trees may be propagated by budding or grafting
  • Pour a little citric juice (ie. lemon, lime, grapefruit or apple juices) or even saltwater over peeled apples to prevent them from browning
  • Smaller apples keep longer than larger ones
  • Store baskets or bushels of apples covered with perforated plastic in the dark in a well-ventilated room 32-39 degrees F. (0-4 degrees C) to prevent shrivelling
  • It takes about six medium apples about 2lbs (900g) for a 9″ pie or 3 cups (700ml) of apple sauce

Uses for Common Apples

Eating Whole

Salads Baking Sauce

Cider

Ambroisia

Braeburn

Cortland

Empire

Fiji

Golden Delicious

Granny Smith

Honey Crisp

Idared

Jonathan

Johnagold

Mcintosh

Northern Spy

Pink Lady

Red Delicious
Royal Gala
Spartan