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Who Would Have Thought That A Stick Man Needed An Emotional Lift?

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Orignally posted on: AmericaOnCoffee

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It really happened. He fell into a state of brokeness and dispair, until he met a swinging “stick chick” who loved dancing. Afterwards, his was a continual transformation. She inspired his brokenness to firm up, for a dance of spicy Asian love. The two danced and still dance to this present day.

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The use of Chopsticks creates a culinary dance of ‘pickups, swings and twirls’ in the Asian Cuisines. The rest is history…

©Doro Dancer (AmericaOnCoffee) All rights reserved 2018

A Brief History of Chopsticks

We’ve discussed the story of the knife and fork, but there’s another set of utensils used by billions of people around the world—and it has a truly ancient past. The Chinese have been wielding chopsticks since at least 1200 B.C., and by A.D. 500 the slender batons had swept the Asian continent from Vietnam to Japan.

From their humble beginnings as cooking utensils to paper-wrapped bamboo sets at the sushi counter, there’s more to chopsticks than meets the eye.

The fabled ruins of Yin, in Henan province, provided not only the earliest examples of Chinese writing but also the first known chopsticks—bronze sets found in tombs at the site. Capable of reaching deep into boiling pots of water or oil, early chopsticks were used mainly for cooking. It wasn’t until A.D. 400 that people began eating with the utensils. This happened when a population boom across China sapped resources and forced cooks to develop cost-saving habits. They began chopping food into smaller pieces that required less cooking fuel—and happened to be perfect for the tweezers-like grip of chopsticks.

As food became bite-sized, knives became more or less obsolete. Their decline—and chopsticks’ ascent—also came courtesy of Confucius. As a vegetarian, he believed that sharp utensils at the dinner table would remind eaters of the slaughterhouse. He also thought that knives’ sharp points evoked violence and warfare, killing the happy, contended mood that should reign during meals. Thanks in part to his teachings, chopstick use quickly became widespread throughout Asia.

Different cultures adopted different chopstick styles. Perhaps in a nod to Confucius, Chinese chopsticks featured a blunt rather than pointed end. In Japan, chopsticks were 8 inches long for men and 7 inches long for women. In 1878 the Japanese became the first to create the now-ubiquitous disposable set, typically made of bamboo or wood. Wealthy diners could eat with ivory, jade, coral, brass or agate versions, while the most privileged used silver sets. It was believed that the silver would corrode and turn black if it came into contact with poisoned food.

Throughout history, chopsticks have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with another staple of Asian cuisine: rice. Naturally, eating with chopsticks lends itself to some types of food more than others. At first glance, you’d think that rice wouldn’t make the cut, but in Asia most rice is of the short- or medium-grain variety. The starches in these rices create a cooked product that is gummy and clumpy, unlike the fluffy and distinct grains of Western long-grain rice. As chopsticks come together to lift steaming bundles of sticky rice, it’s a match made in heaven.

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HOW TO USE CHOP STICKS

Eating Chinese food with a fork is great if you got take out and are planning to indulge yourself in front of the tv in your living room. But if you’ve ever gone to a swanky restaurant where chopsticks are the norm and forks aren’t even offered as cutlery you’ll be happy you read and re read this instructable!

Learn the proper hold of chop sticks and how to orient your fingers actually allow for flawless plate mouth food transport!

Let’s get started! Follow these 4 simple steps at link below:

How To Use Chopsticks

 
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Posted by on SunAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-07-15T11:27:39+00:00America/Los_Angeles07bAmerica/Los_AngelesSun, 15 Jul 2018 11:27:39 +0000 31, in brunch

 

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Welcome To Bangkok

36 Hours in Bangkok

From upstart creative spaces and obscure bars to neighborhoods where a surprising urban tranquillity reigns, Bangkok remains ripe for discovery.

The entrance to Ba Hao, a bar in Bangkok’s Chinatown district.CreditDavid Rama Terrazas Morales for The New York Times

By Seth Sherwood

One of the first Thai words that foreigners learn in Bangkok is farang, or foreigner. And no wonder. More than 20 million farang descend on the temples and temptations of Thailand’s capital every year, making it one of the planet’s most visited cities. You run into each other in hotels and restaurants, in the air-conditioned mega-malls of Siam Square, at the teeming Chatuchak outdoor market and the Buddhist sites of Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Together, you jostle through the crowds along the buzzing Sukhumvit strip and the backpacker haven of Khao San Road. And there you are again, venturing into the famous go-go bars of Patpong and Soi Cowboy. Fortunately, Bangkok is vast and fast-evolving, with many remote corners and newly minted hangouts. From upstart creative spaces and restaurants to obscure back street bars to the under-visited Thonburi district, Bangkok remains ripe for discovery.

Friday

1) 4 P.M. SIAMESE STUDIES
“Are Tuk-Tuks and Pad Thai Really Thai?” That question, embossed on a wall, welcomes you to the recently reopened Museum Siam, an interactive, high-tech fun house whose motto is “Decoding Thainess.” Exploring the galleries is like bouncing around a pinball machine: Surfaces light up, bells ring and characters and objects suddenly pop out of floors and walls as you accumulate knowledge about Thai history, royalty, fashion, food, Buddhism and pop culture. (Spoiler alert: Tuk-tuks arrived in Thailand via postwar Italy and Japan.)

2) 6 P.M. GODS AND MONSTERS
Urban chaos gives way to villagelike (and farang-free) tranquillity across the nearby Memorial Bridge. Featuring an ersatz mountain dotted with Buddha statues, the rock garden of the Wat Prayoon complex is a haven of grottoes, pavilions, roaming turtles and fish ponds. Alongside it, a soaring, white, bell-shaped chedi surrounded by 18 smaller white chedis is a simultaneously massive and minimalist monument. Go past the Church of Santa Cruz (originally constructed by Portuguese settlers; the present structure was rebuilt in the early 20th century) and follow the slim riverbank path to Kuan An Keng. The Chinese-built temple is adorned with red pillars, golden bells and sculpted dragons; beyond it, is the dazzling, multitiered, 19th-century Buddhist temples and bell tower of Wat Kalayanamitr. A ferry (5 baht, or about 16 cents) returns you across the river in minutes.

The chilled soup of mango, pumpkin and pickles at Gaa restaurant.CreditDavid Rama Terrazas Morales for The New York Times

3) 8 P.M. SUBLIME GAA
Gaggan is regularly ranked as Asia’s best restaurant. Don’t eat there. Just across the passageway is the less fastidious, less expensive, less-hyped, almost-brand-new and truly sublime dining experience known as Gaa, where you don’t have to book weeks in advance. (A few days are enough — for now). Décor consists of industrial materials and autumnal hues, music ranges from bossa nova to Bowie, and the innovative food comes courtesy of the Indian chef Garima Arora, who worked previously at Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant and, yes, Gaggan. The 10-course menu (2,200 baht) might showcase Indo-Siamese hybrids (Thai crayfish on Indian flatbread with shell bisque), high-end comfort food (warm fermented tofu whey with charcoal-roasted cauliflower), meaty-sweet mash-ups (chilled shards of chicken-liver mousse on toast with longan jam) or fruity fun desserts.

4) 10: 30 P.M. THE CHINESE COLLECTION
For most travelers, Chinatown’s appeals are street food and the huge gold Buddha in Wat Traimit. But the small nearby lane called Soi Nana is a gold mine of new bars. The red neon, flickering candles and dark wood at Ba Hao evoke a sultry den from 1930s Shanghai — complete with Opium (a Negroni variant with ginseng, herbal liquor and tiny chrysanthemum bulbs). Thai pride suffuses the cozy, candlelit Tep Bar. Not hungry for fried baby bamboo caterpillars? Try a herbal liquor, rice wine or Nila Pat cocktail (Thai rum, ginger syrup and a black gelatin cube made with Thai herbs) and absorb the traditional Thai music performances.

The interior of Papaya, a soaring warehouse-shop packed with a museumlike collection of vintage goods.CreditDavid Rama Terrazas Morales for The New York Times

https://staygold.citi.com/?promo=dtb&BT_TX=1

Saturday
5) 10 A.M. MARKET SATURATION
Want to rub sweaty elbows with tens of thousands of retail enthusiasts in a 27-acre, sun-seared outdoor market with some 15,000 booths hocking coconut-shell ashtrays, elephant-print pants, jasmine soaps, striped cushions and countless other wares? If not, swap overloaded Chatuchak market for undervisited Papaya, a soaring air-conditioned warehouse-shop packed with a museumlike collection of vintage goods: bellows cameras, Jacobsen chairs, barber poles, 1970s computers, claw foot tubs, Oriental rugs, snuff boxes, surgery lamps and so much else — except other shoppers.

6) 1 P.M. FISHES AND LOAVES
Cheap, noisy, no-frills, white-tiled, overbright: Krua Apsorn bears all the signs of a top-notch traditional eating room. Skip the crab omelet — locally famous but overrated — for spicy seafood specimens like silvery sillago fish (in a fiery soup of beans, peas and leaves) and plump tom yum shrimp (in coconut-milk broth with mushroom chunks). Lunch for two costs around 700 baht. For dessert, nearby Mont Nomsod is a Bangkok institution, beloved for its thick white toast spread with sweet toppings (25 baht) like coconut-egg custard, and chunky corn soup.

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The Wat Prayoon complex is a haven of grottoes, pavilions, roaming turtles and fish ponds.CreditDavid Rama Terrazas Morales for The New York Times
7) 3 P.M. GO POSTAL
What happens to old post offices in the internet era? Hopefully they end up like the Bangkok General Post Office, which now houses the Thailand Creative and Design Center. In addition to a library, studios and a large exhibition area — recently host to an excellent elucidation of Thai architecture — the center features a boutique selling hipster sneakers by Truly, minimalist wooden clocks from Pana Objects and other Thai products. Up the road, Warehouse 30 ups the neighborhood’s creative quotient with an indie documentary cinema, a gallery-cafe and shops selling everything from steampunk fashion to vintage stereo equipment.

8) 6 P.M. SWEET SUFFERING
Like Thai boxing and Thai spices, Thai massage is not for the weak. During a 60-minute session (350 baht) at Ruen Nuad — a humble wooden house amid the skyscrapers and crowds of downtown Bangkok — you become the soft target of the masseuse’s powerful knees, elbows, forearms and fists as he or she stretches you like Play-Doh, twists you like Twizzlers, folds you like origami and presses you down like an overstuffed suitcase. All the pulling, prodding, pummeling and, yes, punching can make you feel like the dummy in a model-mugging defense class, but you will walk outside feeling as limber and light as a ghost.

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A view of Bangkok.CreditDavid Rama Terrazas Morales for The New York Times
9) 8 P.M. NURTURED BY NATURE
“In praise of the wondrous beauty of nature…,” reads the menu cover at Cuisine de Garden: Unexpected words in a tall, dense metropolis with few green spaces. But this glassy and hushed restaurant that opened last year offers an organic enclave amid the asphalt and concrete. The project starts with the décor — slim tree trunks stretch from floor to ceiling, like an indoor forest — and continues with a four-course menu (1,590 baht) and various amuse-bouche whims. The lineup might include a leaf-shaped brioche served atop a real leaf, a shrimp-mussel-salmon-crab quartet deployed on small white stones, or a soft-boiled egg atop a nestlike structure of crispy rice noodles and a bed of pulled chicken: a gooey, warm, crispy and meaty interplay of farmyard flavors.

10) 10:30 P.M. COCKTAIL DENS
“Massage? Massage?” Amid the louche bars and dubious “spas” of the Sukhumvit back streets, two classy cocktail dens have discretely sprouted up. Inside Sri Trat, Frank Sinatra croons while bartenders in vests pour sly Thai cocktails like the O-Liang (Scotch, port wine, Thai coffee and amaro) for guests ensconced on tufted leather stools. Thailand meets Tokyo at Salon du Japonisant, where an unmarked door opens into a chic speakeasy outfitted with Chesterfield-style couches, low armchairs and three menus: one for whiskey and Calvados, one for sakes, and one for cocktails. The Old Fashioned 2017 is a dry, spicy and sophisticated blend of Suntory whiskey, green tea bitters, forest bitters, cinnamon stick, orange and Japanese black honey.

Sunday

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CangChui, a new alternative theme park and Gothic wonderland, features a full-size plane.CreditDavid Rama Terrazas Morales for The New York Times
11) 10 A.M. CHANNEL SURFING
A tranquil and spiritual side of the city appears when you motor through the water channels of Thonburi in a canopied wooden boat. (Sinchai Travel, a.k.a. Longtail Boat Tour, has its ticket office on Sathorn Pier. A 90-minute trip costs 1,500 to 1,800 baht per person.) Bangkok’s towers vanish and soon you are among old wooden canal houses and plank piers where children fish, white cranes swoop down, women in motorboats pass with skewered meats for sale, and magnificent temples and mountainous Buddhas suddenly materialize.

12) 12:30 P.M. A WALK ON THE WEIRD SIDE
To reach Oldman Coffee, drop your car or taxi at the highway overpass, duck under the fuselage of the decommissioned Lockheed passenger jet, follow the gravel path past the toilet-plunger-toss arcade game, turn left at the helicopter and go past the Victorian-style photo portrait studio. If you reach the huge metal skull the size of a garbage truck, you’ve gone too far. Such are the attractions of ChangChui, a new alternative theme park and Gothic wonderland, complete with shooting gallery, food stalls, vintage shops, artist studios, open-air bars and concert halls — to say nothing of deactivated torpedoes, disused tractor-trailers, human-size robots and an exhibition room with skulls and stuffed birds. If you need lunch, try Insects in the Backyard restaurant. At your own risk.

Lodging
Opened in late 2017, the 231-room Lancaster Bangkok is a spacious and luxurious newcomer with a gym, spa, restaurant, rooftop pool and multiple bars. Double rooms in February from 3,360 baht. Alternatively, save money at Old Town Hostel — a 1920s building with 12 dormitories and nine private rooms — then splurge at the adjoining 80/20. Decorated in an industrial style, the gallery-restaurant serves daring, playful and delectable neo-Thai concoctions. Double rooms from 800 baht.

In the heart of the emerging Chinatown bar scene, 103 Bed and Brews has six rooms with tasteful retro furnishings and a cool cafe with multiple cold brew coffees and Thai microbrews. Rooms from 1,250 baht.

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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-07-13T10:48:30+00:00America/Los_Angeles07bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 13 Jul 2018 10:48:30 +0000 31, in breakfast, brunch, entertainment, reflections

 

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Couldn’t Make That Perfect Dish? Was Poor Salmon The Problem?

Get Schooled: How to Buy the Best Salmon

Don’t be fooled by confusing labels—our handy salmon buying guide decodes common terms so you can shop the seafood counter like a pro.

sergeyryzhov / Getty

By ELIZABETH LASETER

Everyone can agree that salmon is part of a healthy diet—from Coho to Sockeye, salmon is loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, bone-protecting selenium, and so much more. Chefs and home cooks alike prize this spectacular superfish around the year for its rich, satisfying taste and versatility. However, buying salmon at the grocery store can be a stressful task for shoppers. With a multitude of salmon varieties behind the counter, how do you know which fish is right for you?

Under Country of Origin Labeling law, the USDA requires all grocery stores and retailers to clearly list product origins and method of production (farm-raised or wild-caught) for fish and shellfish. The good news: the label contains valuable information you need to make a smart choice. The bad news: actually reading and understanding the label can be a confusing and stressful task. There are simply too many factors to consider—wild versus farmed, fresh versus flash-frozen, organic versus sustainable—the list goes on. To simplify your next trip to the seafood counter, we’ve taken a deep dive into terms commonly seen on salmon labels so you can make a smart, healthy, and responsible choice.

Willard / Getty
Pacific Salmon: Salmon swims in two major bodies of water off the coast of the United States, the Atlantic and the Pacific. There are five varieties of Pacific salmon: Coho/Silver, King/Chinook, Sockeye, Pink, and Chum/Keta. Most Pacific Salmon is wild, but there are some instances where it is farmed.

Atlantic Salmon: While there are five types of Pacific salmon, there is only one Atlantic variety. Atlantic Salmon is endangered in the wild, so virtually all of it is now farmed.

Farm-Raised: Fish that are endangered in the wild are often raised in aquacultures, or “fish farms,” to control overfishing. “Farm-raised” goes hand-in-hand with Atlantic salmon, and has attracted criticism due to its devastating environmental effects. However, some aquaculture methods are better than others, so it’s important to know which one applies to your salmon. Approach salmon raised in net-pens with caution—this practice allows waste and feed to flow freely, potentially contaminating the surrounding ecosystem. From a nutrition angle, farmed salmon contains more saturated fat than wild, which is typically leaner.

Sustainably-Farmed: Sustainable seafood is a hot topic in the food world, garnering praise as a more responsible and environmentally friendly way to control overfishing. Look for salmon raised via closed tank aquaculture—the fish are completely separated from salt and freshwater bodies, allowing for farming with minimal environmental effect. Salmon raised specifically in low-density net-pens (less salmon = more space to swim) make for a cleaner environment. Thankfully, there are plenty of sustainable Atlantic salmon varieties available, but it can take a bit of research to identify them since labeling is often inconsistent. Learn the sustainability of salmon or any fish by looking it up in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.

Wild-Caught: This simply means that fish must be caught or harvested from a non-controlled environment, such as a freshwater or ocean body.

Troll-Caught: Also called “line-caught,” this sustainable fishing method uses a traditional hook and line approach. While they may carry a higher price tag, troll-caught wild salmon are considered a benchmark for quality, since fisherman carefully inspect every fish they catch.
Organic: There is currently no USDA certification method for organic fish. So, in effect, it’s impossible to know what this term really means. Rely on other methods for choosing salmon.

Wild Alaskan Salmon: This is not a specific type of salmon—instead it indicates where the salmon was caught. From Sockeye to Coho, the vast majority of Pacific salmon is caught off of the coast of Alaska.

Verlasso Salmon: Based in Patagonia, Verlasso is considered to be a sustaiable choice—the company farms Atlantic salmon in low-density net pens and has earned approval from the Monterey Bar Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.

Scottish Salmon: This term identifies Atlantic salmon farmed off of the coast of Scotland. Due to the use of pesticides to control an outbreak of sea lice in farmed populations, Seafood Watch recommends avoiding this type of salmon.

Skuna Bay Salmon: A popular choice amongst sustainably minded top chefs, Skuna Bay farms Atlantic Salmon in low-density net pens off the coast of Vancouver. While Skuna Bay does not currently have a rating from Seafood Watch, the company is Best Aquaculture Practices Certified by the Global Aquaculture Alliance.

Arctic Char: With a similar taste and appearance to salmon (they’re from the same family), arctic char is considered a sustainable and equally-as-tasty alternative. Most char are farmed, but in closed tank aquacultures. Seafood Watch approves Char that are farmed in closed tank aquacultures.
Cook This: Seared Arctic Char with Cucumber Relish

Steelhead: Actually a type of Rainbow Trout, Steelhead has a similar appearance and texture to salmon. Like Char, Seafood Watch approves closed-tank farmed Steelhead. In the wild, Steelhead are endangered.

Fresh: Like “organic,” this term is essentially meaningless and is often used as a way to market the fish. We’ll just say this—the freshest fish you’ll ever eat is the kind you catch straight from your boat and cook an hour later.

Flash-Frozen: The fish is frozen on the boat immediately after it’s caught to lock in peak freshness. We’d much rather see this term than “fresh,” since it tells you exactly how the fish has been handled.

Sushi-Grade: Purveyors can choose to put this label on salmon to show that it’s safe to consume raw. Salmon, Tuna, and other fish intended for sushi is flash-frozen to kill parasites before ending up in the grocery store.

Color-added: This term only concerns farmed salmon. Wild salmon get their reddish hue from the carotenoids in underwater plants and algae, but farmed salmon get their color from pigment added to their feed.

Product of U.S.A.: Under the Country of Origin Labeling law, only fish that are caught and processed in the US can use this label. This is especially important for wild salmon, which is often caught in the US, but is sent to other countries for processing such as deboning and filleting. While this is a common, highly regulated practice intended to offset labor costs, it’s something shoppers should know.
Photo: Jamie Vespa

Best Salmon Recipes

From roasted to grilled to cured, there are endless ways to cook salmon.

Here are our favorite ways to cook with this deliciously nutritious fish:

Grill it: Grilled Salmon with White Bean and Arugula Salad
Broil it: Salmon with Lime-Hoisin Glaze with Crunchy Bok Choy Slaw
Roast it: Lemony Roasted Salmon with White Wine Couscous
Sauté it: Sautéed Salmon with Citrus Salsa
Poach it: Poached Salmon Fillets
Cure it: Classic Gravlax (and then put an egg on it! Smoked Salmon and Egg Sandwich)
Burger it: Hoisin-Glazed Salmon Burgers with Pickled Cucumber
Last but not least, the one-pan wonder: Sheet Pan Honey Soy Salmon Dinner

Now, it’s time to hit the grocery store or seafood market. The key to shopping smart is finding a fishmonger that you trust. If labeling is ever vague or unclear, don’t hesitate to ask for help (at source link, below).

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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-07-13T09:54:44+00:00America/Los_Angeles07bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 13 Jul 2018 09:54:44 +0000 31, in brunch

 

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Taro Pancakes

I’ve been craving the idea of a taro pancake that is light and fluffy and I came up with this adaptation of various recipes… I think these came out quite well – they taste even better with coconut syrup.

Prep Time: 10 | Cook Time: 5 | Ready In: 15

Ingredients:

US Metric Calculate
1 1/2 cup flour- sifted
1/2 cup taro tea power
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp melted butter
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon natural purple food coloring (optional)

Cooking Process:

Whisk together the eggs yolks, sugar, butter, vanilla, milk and food coloring if you desire. Add flour, taro tea powder, salt and baking powder into sifter and sift into bowl. Slowly pour mixture into bowl and stir until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Add chopped butter and stir well. Heat a well greased large skillet over the medium heat. Goes perfect with coconut syrup!

Try this homemade coconut syrup recipe!

Garnish with fresh fruit, Shredded coconut & macadamia nuts (optional)

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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-07-13T09:00:58+00:00America/Los_Angeles07bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 13 Jul 2018 09:00:58 +0000 31, in breakfast, brunch

 

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The authentic Appalachian Stack Cakes (2 separate recipes)

Appalroot Farm
Inspiring those with Appalachian Roots to Celebrate their Heritage
Old Timey Appalachian Tea Cakes &

Mini Kentucky Apple Stack Cakes

For visual steps go to site: recipe source
(Makes approx. 120 tea cakes OR up to 24 — 5 layer stack cakes)

For Tea Cakes:

5 cups all purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk

For Mini Apple Stack Cakes:
Tea Cakes (5 tea cake cookies for each stack cake being made)

1 2/3 cups apple butter–for every 5 (5 layer) cakes being made

1/2 tsp. allspice (for every 1 2/3 cups apple butter used)

For tea cakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

Then work in butter, eggs, vanilla and just enough buttermilk to create a rollable dough. Once well combined, divide dough into thirds or half to roll out one part at a time on a VERY well floured surface.

Roll to a quarter inch thickness or less and cut out with a three inch cookie or biscuit cutter.

Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.

Remove tea cakes to cooling racks immediately.

To make the tea cakes into Mini Kentucky Apple Stack Cakes, on stovetop heat approximately 1 and 2/3 cups of apple butter for every 5 (5 layer) stack cakes you intend to make. To each 1 and 2/3 cups of applesauce you use, add 1/2 tsp. allspice.

When apple butter is heated through. Assemble the stack cakes by alternating tea cake cookies with a spoonful of apple butter, stacking as high as 5 layers of tea cakes.

Make sure the entire top of each tea cake cookie is covered with apple butter (except the top cookie)

Cover mini stack cakes and refrigerate for 3-4 days before serving.

recipe source

LAYERS OF LOVE

The Legend of Apple Stack Cake

BY ELIZABETH SIMS
RECIPE BY SHERI CASTLE

“Pieces of apples were threaded onto strings and hung in the rafters, or strewn onto quilts spread out under the chilly, bright, sunshiny autumn sky,” says Sheri Castle, a writer and expert in Appalachian food.
Those apple slices weren’t decorations. The apple orchards covering the mountainsides of Appalachia produced heaps of fruit, and the traditional method of preserving the bounty was to dry them for use throughout the long mountain winter.

Dried apples make a delicious snack all by themselves, but reconstituting them within a dessert brings out the tannins and sugars. And the classic showcase for the fruit is the apple stack cake, generally believed to have first emerged in the mountains of Kentucky.

Legend holds that the apple stack cake originated as an affordable alternative to a wedding cake. Friends and family members, the story goes, each brought a layer to the big event, where it was assembled into the day’s dessert. The taller the cake, the more beloved the bride-to-be.

It’s a sweet story, but there’s no evidence it’s true. Wedding guests would have discovered that assembling and serving the cake on the same day produces a disappointing confection. Stack-cake connoisseurs advise covering the top of each cake layer with apple butter or applesauce, and then allowing the cake to cure for between two days and a week. The aromatic blend of cake, fruit, mace, and sorghum melds into dense strata that define this mountain dessert.

Methods vary as much as ingredients. In her book Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken, Ronni Lundy claims it’s best to bake the layers one at a time in a greased and floured cast iron skillet. Jill Sauceman, who grew up in Scott County, Virginia, and now lives in Johnson City, Tennessee, learned to make the cake from her grandmother, Nevada Parker Derting. She bakes the cake layers on cookie sheets after using a dinner plate as a template to ensure uniform sizing.

“Stack cakes are a labor of love requiring both time and patience,” Castle says. “They were a generous offering from time-strapped mountain cooks and therefore made only for special occasions.”

The apple stack cake emerged from humble beginnings, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious or satisfying. In fact, putting a homemade stack cake on your holiday buffet is just about the purest display of mountain love there is.

Elizabeth Sims is the author of the two Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbooks, and her work has appeared in Southern Living, Garden & Gun, and The Bitter Southerner. A past president of the Southern Foodways Alliance, she is a member of Edible Asheville’s board of advisors.

APPALACHIAN STACK CAKE

Sheri notes the cake layers should be thin, similar to a pancake. “Thin, uniform layers are a point of pride among stack cake experts,” she says.

Serves 16

INGREDIENTS

Dried Apple Filling

5 packed cups (about 1 pound)

unsulfured dried apples

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 to 5 cups water, divided

Cake Layers:

5 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup melted shortening

1 cup sorghum

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

DIRECTIONS

Dried Apple Filling:

Place the apples, brown sugar, ginger, and nutmeg in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring from time to time, until the filling is very thick and the apples have absorbed most of the water, about one hour.

If the mixture gets dry, add more water. If it is soupy, continue to simmer until the excess cooks away. Use a potato masher or the back of a large spoon to break up the apples into a chunky sauce.

Set aside to cool completely.

Cake Layers:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and our six 9-inch cake pans. (If you do not have six pans, bake the layers in batches.)

Whisk together 5 cups of the flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the melted shortening, sorghum, vanilla, and eggs. Use your hands to bring the dough together, slowly pulling the dry ingredients into the center. Mix until it is the consistency of stiff cookie dough. If the dough is too wet, add more our.

Dump out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.

Divide the dough into six pieces of equal size. (If you work slowly, wrap each piece in plastic wrap so it won’t dry out.) Use lightly floured hands to pat each piece of dough evenly into the bottom of a prepared cake pan.

The dough should be no more than a half-inch thick. (If baking in batches, keep the dough wrapped until it’s time to bake.)

Lightly dock the dough with fork tines, making a pretty pattern if you wish.

Bake until the layers are firm when lightly pressed, about 12 minutes. The layers do not rise as they bake.

Working one at a time while the layers are still warm, run a thin knife around the edge and turn it out onto a large serving plate or cake plate.

Immediately spread it with one-fifth of the cooled apple filling, or about 1 to 1 1/2 cups.

Repeat with the remaining cooked layers. As soon as each layer is baked, add it to the stack. Leave the top layer bare.

Cover the cake with several layers of plastic wrap and then tea towels, or store it in an airtight cake carrier. Let the cake rest at room temperature for at least two days before cutting.

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Posted by on TueAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-07-10T11:05:25+00:00America/Los_Angeles07bAmerica/Los_AngelesTue, 10 Jul 2018 11:05:25 +0000 31, in breakfast, brunch, reflections

 

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Hawaiian Pancake with Macadamia Nut Sauce

Hawaiian Pancake with Macadamia Nut Sauce

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Enjoy some fluffy pancakes with a white sauce.

This macadamia nut sauce is on the lighter side, so it’s easy on your stomach.

Macadamia Nut Sauce

Ingredients:

2 servings
4 to 6 slices Your favorite pancakes

Macadamia Nut Sauce:

  • 1/2 tbsp Plain white flour
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 100 ml Milk
  • 1/2 tbsp Condensed milk
  • 80 ml ☆Heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp ☆Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ☆Vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 4 to 6 Macadamia nuts

(also see video)

Method

  1. Use 2 to 3 macadamia nuts per serving. Place the nuts into a plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin or chop up finely. Make them as fine as possible.
  2. Dry-roast the finely crushed nuts in a frying pan. Set aside until later.
  3. Whip all the ☆ marked ingredients togther (heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla essence) using a hand mixer or a whisk
  4. Add butter and flour into a small frying pan or a pot and heat well. Add milk in small batches and stir well to prevent lumps.
  5. When smooth, add 1/2 tablespoon of condensed milk or sugar. Mix well, and turn the heat off.
  6. Add the whipped ☆ mixture into the Step 5 mixture in 2 batches. Add the lemon juice. Turn the heat back on and stir as it gets warm. Take care not to boil. Just warm it up slightly.
  7. Layer 2 to 3 pancakes per serving on each plate. Pour the sauce from step 6 over the pancakes.
  8. Top with the macadamia nuts, and it’s all done.

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Posted by on TueAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-07-10T08:36:00+00:00America/Los_Angeles07bAmerica/Los_AngelesTue, 10 Jul 2018 08:36:00 +0000 31, in breakfast, brunch, Monday Madness, tropical islands

 

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Have You Heard Of This Most Terrifying Bed And Breakfast?

Have You Heard Of This Most Terrifying Bed And Breakfast?

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On Earth, and, at Sea: “The Frying Pan Tower” Coast Guard Light Station
The Frying Pan Tower is a Coast Guard Light Station located 34 miles off the coast (seaward) of (Cape Fear) North Carolina that is being restored with the assistance of people like you!

Distant

view: Frying Pan Tower – Light Station – Southport NC

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The Frying Pan Tower is located out of sight of land in 50 ft. of clear blue Atlantic waters (lat & lon 33°29′N 77°35′W).

Closeup view: Frying Pan Tower – Light Station – Southport NC

It may not boast a spa, fancy dining or swimming pool, but this one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast in the Atlantic Ocean’s hurricane alley has everything guests need when they’re looking for solitude.

Frying Pan Lighthouse: A unique B&B for the true adventurer …

Guests decide what they want from the refrigerator, freezer and pantries, or from what

Best Restaurant with best View! – Picture of Frying Pan, Southport – TripAdvisor

Frying Pan, Southport Picture: Best Restaurant with best View! – Check out TripAdvisor members’ 1,642 candid photos and videos of Frying Pan

Despite its remote location, the bed and breakfast has some of the comforts of home, including hot showers, electricity, wifi and a kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

Guests’ Quarters

Captain’s Quarters

A visit to the Frying Pan Tower is an unforgettable experience and a way to truly get away from it all while enjoying the loneliness and endless views of the sea. With no other structure or land in sight, guests feel like they’re in the middle of nowhere as they gaze at the open water and take in spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and stunning displays as stars glitter in the night sky. From $500 a person for two nights (the cost doesn’t include helicopter or boat transfers), there are eight bedrooms (five twin beds and three queen beds) and the accommodation is rustic and basic. Richard Neal, a software engineer from Charlotte, purchased the surplus station when it was auctioned by the US Coast Guard in 2010. In calmer times, guests can admire 360-degree views from a light tower or lower themselves to the ocean’s surface, where they can dive with sharks and turtles, or fish for lobster, black sea bass in waters warmed by the Gulf Stream. With the Gulf Stream close by, we often are pleasantly warm when it’s still cold onshore and mild when it’s too hot to walk on the sand at the beach so don’t let a great weekend go to waste, come be part of history!

https://youtu.be/WE31soltwVU

Despite its remote location, the bed and breakfast has some of the comforts of home, including hot showers, electricity, wifi and a kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

Guests’ Quarters

Captain’s Quarters

A visit to the Frying Pan Tower is an unforgettable experience and a way to truly get away from it all while enjoying the loneliness and endless views of the sea. With no other structure or land in sight, guests feel like they’re in the middle of nowhere as they gaze at the open water and take in spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and stunning displays as stars glitter in the night sky. From $500 a person for two nights (the cost doesn’t include helicopter or boat transfers), there are eight bedrooms (five twin beds and three queen beds) and the accommodation is rustic and basic. Richard Neal, a software engineer from Charlotte, purchased the surplus station when it was auctioned by the US Coast Guard in 2010. In calmer times, guests can admire 360-degree views from a light tower or lower themselves to the ocean’s surface, where they can dive with sharks and turtles, or fish for lobster, black sea bass in waters warmed by the Gulf Stream. With the Gulf Stream close by, we often are pleasantly warm when it’s still cold onshore and mild when it’s too hot to walk on the sand at the beach so don’t let a great weekend go to waste, come be part of history!

https://youtu.be/WE31soltwVU

 
2 Comments

Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-07-09T12:29:15+00:00America/Los_Angeles07bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 09 Jul 2018 12:29:15 +0000 31, in breakfast, brunch, reflections

 

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