The Birth of Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy

 Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy came to be out of two separate events in my life. My youngest son loved to cook with me. At an early age he declared he wanted to open a restaurant when he was older, called "Tyler's Yummy in Your Tummy" He never did open that restaurant but I loved the name and decided to use it for my Blog on Cooking and Recipes.



 "Ollie" replaced the name "Tyler" in the title simply because that same son suggested the nickname Ollie when my first grandchild was born. My middle name is Olive after my Grandmother, and I became Grandma Ollie to my grandchildren. And thus Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy was born!



 This blog will be a collection of recipes - family, my own, and any others I can find in my collection. I've been cooking for almost 50 years - having started as a pre-teen. In Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy I'll share my favourite recipes, tips and techniques with you.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pickled Eggs & Beets

Pickled Eggs & Beets
I love pickled beets. And I love hard-boiled eggs. So when a friend mentioned pickled eggs and beets, I knew I had to find a recipe and make them.

We are having our annual Family Fun Day in a week and these will look so pretty in dishes on the buffet table!

How to Hard Boil a Perfect Egg

This morning I hard-boiled 24 eggs. Please let me share the secret of perfect hard-boiled eggs with you. When you use this method your eggs will turn out perfectly - with beautiful yellow centres (not grey which means they were overcooked) and whites that are soft and tender yet cooked (and not rubbery!)

Here's all you do - put your eggs into a pan of cold water. Put a lid on and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, turn the pan OFF and put the lid back on. Leave the eggs for exactly 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water, remove from hot pan and put in a bowl and then into the fridge.  Let them cool off and when you peel them you will have perfect eggs.

So back to my pickled eggs and beets. I hardboiled 24 eggs using the method above. While they were cooking and then cooling in the refrigerator, I took 2 jars of pickled beets and drained them. Reserve the juice and place in a medium size saucepan.  Put the beets (slices or whole beets, it doesn't matter which) into a small bowl.

Peel and slice one onion for every 6-8 eggs and put the onion slices into the bowl with the beets. Now slice 2 cloves of garlic for every 6-8 eggs and put in with the reserved beet juice. To the beet juice you are going to add (for 24 eggs) 3 cups of cider vinegar, 1 1/3 cups of white sugar, 4 bay leaves and a small bit of salt and pepper

Bring the vinegar-beet juice mixture to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. By now your eggs are ready to peel. If you crack the eggs at the larger end (not the pointed end) they are slightly easier to peel. If you are lucky enough to get under that little membrane between the egg white and the hard shell, the shell will come off much easier.

Beets, onions and eggs
Sometimes if you run the egg under cold water as you are peeling it, you can get the shell off easier. This is one job I hate doing! Sometimes I get lucky and huge chunks of shell come off - heaven! Other times it shatters into a zillion little jagged pieces, all of them stuck like glue to that darn membrane!

Once the beet juice mixture has simmered for 10 minutes, you can start layering your hard-boiled eggs and sliced onions and beets into sterilized Mason Jars. I used 1 Litre jars and put 6 eggs in each. I wished afterwards that I had layered starting with beets then onions then eggs then beets and onions but I didn't. I just put in the eggs, then the beets then the onions.




Beet juice, vinegar & sugar mix
Once you have these items in the jars, pour the beet juice mixture over top, then put on the lids. You can now either put these jars straight into the fridge to eat within 4 months, or you can give them a hot water bath. They should last longer with the hot water bath but I'm still keeping mine in the fridge.

Let them sit at least 3 or 4 days before you eat them. I'm going to slice mine in half and arrange on platters for my family. The longer the eggs sit in the beet juice the darker red they will turn.



 Layering the eggs, beets and onions in sterilized Mason Jars
 Pouring the beet juice mixture into the jars
Jars are sealed and ready for refrigeration or a 10 minute hot water bath
Finished product. Image from SimplyRecipes because mine aren't ready yet

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Best Ever Banana Blueberry Muffins

I first spotted this recipe for Banana Blueberry Muffins on Martha Stewart. It sounded pretty good so I made changes in the original recipe and baked them. Yummy!

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1 Tbsp. ground Flax seed
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup applesauce (I use my homemade applesauce but you can use store-bought)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas (did you know you can freeze ripe bananas to use later?

1/3 cup 1% milk. Sometimes I use buttermilk for extra richness
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blueberries

Method
Oven at 375'. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Use regular size muffin pan so your muffins will puff up

Bowl 1: Whisk together flour, flax seed, baking soda and salt

Bowl 1
Bowl 2: You need a large bowl. Beat applesauce and sugars with mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. I ran out of my homemade applesauce so had to use organic store-bought
Bowl 2
Adding eggs to mixture in Bowl 2

Bowl 3: Mash the bananas with a fork, add the milk and vanilla
Bowl 3

Put your mixer on low speed and start adding the flour mix then banana mix to Bowl 2. Start and end with flour. Mix just until it's combined then add the frozen blueberries
Time to add the blueberries

Ready for the oven

Put the batter in your paper muffin liners. If you use regular size muffin pan, your mixture will come right to the top of the paper liners. Mine does not in the photo above because I decided to use a large muffin pan. Don't do it.  Your muffins won't puff up if you do.

Bake for about 25 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the center of one muffin to see if it comes out clean. If it does, the muffins are done. If not, continue baking.


Let muffins cool 10 minutes then put on rack to cool. These are best if they sit overnight, then the muffin comes out of the paper liner easily.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Baked Not Deep Fried Vegetable Egg Rolls

Baked, Not Fried Vegetable Egg Rolls
When hubs orders Egg Rolls from a Chinese Restaurant, I decline. I rarely enjoy them - the insides tend to be rubbery, they contain MSG and they are deep fried.

But today I tried making my own vegetable egg rolls (baked not fried!) and they were delicious.

I served them with Dijon Mustard, plum sauce and soy sauce as dip choices. Hubs opted for soy while I took mustard and plum. Oh my! So good!

I decided to make vegetable egg rolls today and hubs and I loved them but next time I'm going to add crab. They would be superb with chicken or pork or beef too.

Ingredients
  • 2-3 cups grated raw carrots
  • 2 cups sliced or grated cabbage
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 3 green onions, white part only
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 sweet red bell pepper
  • 1/2 sweet orange or yellow bell pepper
  • package of Egg Roll Wrappers. 
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Ginger
Using 1 tbsp of olive oil (I used extra virgin olive oil) saute the cabbage, bell peppers, bean sprouts, carrots and minced garlic for about 6 minutes.

Then add the chopped white part of the green onions, and about 1/2 tsp each of Cayenne Pepper and ginger.

In a separate small dish mix the water, cornstarch and soy sauce, then add that to the cabbage mixture. Saute for another 3 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.

Chopped green onions
Cornstarch, water and soy sauce

Here's how you create the egg rolls:
 Lay out the egg roll wrappers and when the filling has cooled slightly, place 2-3 Tbsp in the center of each wrapper. I used 18 wrappers and divided the filling up evenly
 Here is one wrapper with filling and I'm ready to start rolling it up
Fold the long end over and then the short ends. Press lightly to hold in place
 Bring up the other long end and press lightly, then turn over so the seam is down.
 Lightly spray a baking sheet with Canola oil and place the rolls, seam side down, on the sheet. Spray the rolls lightly with the Canola oil.
 Bake in a 425' oven for 10 minutes then turn them over and bake another 6 minutes. They will crisp up and turn a  nice golden brown.
I froze a dozen of these egg rolls. Just place them on a baking tray (uncooked) and freeze for about 20 minutes then pack them in ziplock baggies. 

 I baked six and froze the rest in 4-packs. Hubs and I will enjoy them for a light lunch over the next couple of months. I took two to my in-laws and they loved them! I'm already thinking about what else  could put in the next batch I make - celery, mushrooms and various meats and seafood. I meant to put 1/4 tsp. of Ground Flax Seed (an Omega 3 powerhouse) in each wrap before I baked them but I forgot!