What it’s all about

 

A short film and an overview of what we do ‘In The Kitchen’ Please take a moment to view and pass it on if you know someone who might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!

Thank you John of  Craig Photography, amazing work!  Thank you Elizabeth Rametta Craig of Craig Photography for your vision and your direction!

 

CLICK HERE   https://vimeo.com/74313129

 

 

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Photo courtesy of Craig Photography

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Easy Eggs Benedict & Homemade Hollandaise Sauce

Eggs benedict are delicious and easy to make…relatively easy to make.  I’m just not a great ‘poacher’ and so I would avoid making this lovely dish.  It’s often requested in my home and so I would acquiesce occasionally…until I came up with an easy way to make the eggs and now I not only make it for the family on a Saturday morning but I’m happy to do it for a large brunch crowd!

Here’s the twist:

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Spray ramekins with cooking spray.  Crack eggs into ramekins, place in simmering water, cover and cook for about 5 minutes.  If you’re creating for a crowd, use a cupcake pan.  Place the prepared and loaded cupcake pan on top of a 9×13 glass pan filled 1/2 full of boiled water (I use a tea kettle), cover with foil, and place in a 325 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes.

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Use a spoon to loosen the edges and to remove the eggs.  Place cooked Canadian bacon on toasted English muffin halves, add the eggs and then top with homemade hollandaise sauce, sprinkle with a little smoked paprika and there you have it!

Just another way to create the yummy dish without having to poach.

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Egg yolks left over from an egg white omelet.  Whisk the yolks (I had 4 on hand), slowly add melted butter (I use 1 TBL for each yolk), keep whisking, add a squeeze of lemon (big squeeze, taste and maybe another little squeeze) and there you have it…homemade hollandaise!

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OK…my guy likes regular bacon better so here we have it.  Traditionally, round Canadian bacon is used and placed under the eggs…but hey, we’re not exactly traditional over here at Hidden Hollow and it is just as delicious this way ;-)

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Leftover condiments from chinese takeout…

If your fridge looks anything like mine then you’ve got a dozen or so packets of soy sauce, hot mustard and duck sauce littering the bottom of your cheese drawer.  I have a problem just tossing them in the trash so I keep collecting them :-(   At least now I have them all in a zip top sandwich bag…

This is a great way to use up the soy sauce:

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I love to marinate my steak with soy sauce, it adds a nice subtle flavor and eliminates the need to salt the meat prior to grilling which can produce a dry steak because the salt draws the moisture OUT (ever salt your cucumbers or eggplant to intentionally draw the water out?).  I also add 1-2 hundred ;-) cloves of smashed garlic.  Let the steak sit at room temp for about an hour or so and then cook on an oiled grill.  Now you’ve got yourself a tasty steak and way fewer condiment packets in your refrigerator!

As for the hot mustard and duck sauce…squeeze them into little dipping bowls and serve with appetizers at your next party.  The mustard is great for a lot of different ‘dippable’ apps, and the duck sauce is great in place of ketchup or you can use it to make a sweet vinaigrette!

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Starbuck’s cappucinno for a buck…WITHOUT special equipment!

So I LOVE a Starbuck’s cappuccino…I HATE paying $5 for a Starbuck’s cappuccino.  I know, I know, it’s convenient, it’s yummy, it’s quick–ummm, scratch the last one, I’ve waited a good 5-10 minutes for my tasty beverage.

SOOOOOO….here is a quick and easy way to make your own.  All you need is a glass jar with a lid (I use a small Ball Jar), a coffee pot (I use my beloved Keurig) or an instant ‘VIA’ packet, 1 cup of  your favorite milk (the Ball Jar has measurements on the side), a flavoring such as vanilla or hazelnut agave nectar is good and if you don’t want the sugar, an extract such as almond or vanilla is a nice substitute.  I go sans flavoring, I’m a purist when it comes to coffee…although, an occasional caramel macciato is in order (vanilla syrup with a caramel drizzle is all you need for a homemade one)!

Pour 1 cup of milk into your Ball Jar, place it in the microwave without the lid for 1-1 1/2 minutes.  Brew your coffee a little stronger than usual, (I hit the small cup on my Keurig).  When the milk is hot, put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds, pour it on top of your brewed coffee and VOILA…Starbuck’s cappuccino for about $1!

Enjoy!

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‘A Culinary Night in the Garden’ at Best Feeds Garden Center

Last night’s event was a huge hit!  In The Kitchen with Raemie along with SweeT b Sweet Shop and Lisa from Best Feeds Garden Center created a fun and informative evening in the garden.  I made a pesto pasta salad with tomatoes and mozzarella.  I wanted to showcase how you can make a delicious gourmet pasta salad right from your garden!  Lisa was on hand to discuss how you can grow cherry tomatoes and basil in containers right on your deck or patio!  I threw in a few tips on marinating your own fresh mozzarella (a homemade cheese making class is going to be offered soon!) and how toasting the pine nuts before adding them into your pesto recipe really elevates the flavor.  We also discussed the many different kinds of basil that are available and what herbs and plants grow best together.

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Brittany from SweeT b sweet shop was on hand to showcase the season’s delicious fresh berries and the amazing things that can be created with them!  She made a wonderful fruit crumble with fresh strawberries from her share of Dillner Family Farm’s CSA, blueberries and raspberries.  The strawberries put commercial strawberries to shame…the fresh, local strawberries were so sweet and so delicious I don’t think I can bring myself to purchase the commercial ones ever again.  Lisa from the garden center was there to discuss a new line of berry plants that Best Feeds is now carrying called ‘brazzle berries.’  The raspberry and blueberry bushes can be grown in containers on your deck or patio right along with your tomatoes and basil!  These brazzle berries are hardy and will produce into February.  The raspberries are also thornless and the blueberry bushes have the most beautiful leaf color.  Call Best Feeds at 412-487-5802 for more information and let them know your read it here!

I also made some flavored ice cubes using the same ingredients!  I made mint with lime seltzer cubes, strawberry basil cubes, strawberry lemonade cubes and of course blueberry lemonade cubes.  These were a huge hit and a wonderful way to pep up a plain glass of water and add some interest to your beverage table at that 4th of July party!  I used star-shaped ice-cube trays to add a little more flair.

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Another great ice-cube idea is a jalapeno tomato juice cube for a spicy bloody mary!  Just puree the jalapeno (with seeds if you want it REALLY spicy, or without for a little heat but tons of flavor) with a little lime juice, pour into your ice-cube trays and freeze.  Add tomato juice after the jalapeno puree has frozen solid and you’ll have a lovely red and green layered ice-cube that will keep your ‘mary’ cold and will add a flavorful little kick!

If you are interested in taking a class with In The Kitchen with Raemie please contact me!  This summer will bring tons of fun and unique recipes that are farm fresh with a gourmet twist!

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Farm To Table: Picnic Fare

Last night was a wonderful class.  Thanks to all of the lovely ladies who attended and thank you for all of YOUR tips; I learned several new tricks from you!  There was only one thing missing last night…my amazingly talented, dear friend E…my BEST photo pales in comparison…

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I try to be as prepared as possible for each class.  However, there is always the inevitable ‘oops’ or the forgotten item.  Last night I forgot the scallions…so in the middle of the class, while all of the participants were chopping up the other ingredients, I grabbed my shovel and dug up some early spring garlic (which is a perfect replacement for a scallion).  How great is that…just walk outside and grab what you need!

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Keeping with the season, we made a strawberry rhubarb compote with mint. We enjoyed it over sinfully delicious vanilla ice cream (store bought…my fridge/freezer had been ‘down’ for 11 days prior to this class, otherwise it absolutely would have been homemade!)

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We also discussed the basics of creating the ‘best dressed’ pasta salad.  We made a BBQ macaroni salad and a really simple, creamy macaroni salad with lemon and parsley.

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Wondering how to win the ‘Best Dressed’ category?  Here are the ABCs of creating an awesome pasta salad:

  • Add SALT while cooking
    • 2TBLS for 1 pound of pasta. The macaroni will be a bit salty on its own but it will make for a perfectly seasoned pasta salad
  • Cook until JUST done
    • Al dente is very chewy when cold and not the best for a macaroni salad
    • Overcooked pasta ends up mushy and tears apart when tossed with ingredients
    • Cooked just right gives you a lightly yielding bite when cold
  • Rinse with COLD water
    • This is contradictory to hot pasta dishes because it washes away the starch, which is something that you want for hot pasta so that the sauce will stick. But, when it comes to putting together a cold pasta salad you want to wash the starch off and STOP any further cooking of the pasta
    • Drain in a colander but don’t drain the macaroni TOO well before adding the other ingredients…a little extra moisture will keep the salad from drying out
  • Adding veggies
    • Cook the veggies and let them cool in a colander until they reach room temperature.  DO NOT RINSE VEGGIES! They will become water-logged and won’t absorb the dressing
    • Use lemon juice in place of vinegar when adding green veggies like broccoli.  The lemon juice gives you the acid taste and it preserves the bright green colors and the crunchy bite so your pasta salad is THE stand-out; it will look fresh for hours sitting on that picnic table
  • Make ahead and store for up to 2 days
    • Add 1 tablespoon of water and stir to bring it back to life before serving
    • Taste for seasoning, add a smidge of salt/pepper a little lemon or a smidge of vinegar if necessary.  DO NOT add more mayo…you’ll end up with an overdressed, greasy pasta salad

There you have it…the insider’s guide to a perfect pasta salad…and a eulogy to the MANY awful pasta salads that have come out of my kitchen…

Part 2 of ‘Picnic Fare’ is scheduled for June 20th.  I am running a BUY ONE GET ONE FREE special until the end of June, so purchase one class today and get a second class FREE!! For more details click on ‘Kitchen Workshops.’

Eat fresh!

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Early Spring Class: Asparagus and Artichokes

Thank you to all who attended! We had a great time and tasted some really delicious veggie dishes!

Here are a few pictures from the last class: courtesy of Elizabeth Craig www.craig-photography.com

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