Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Butter and Babies

As a kid, do you remember holding a dandelion under chin?

We talked about it on the show last week. (It was Dandelion Day on Tuesday, April 5th). If there was a yellowish reflection, that meant you liked butter, right? I don't know the origin of that practice but I think I ALWAYS had the yellow color reflected under my chin! I loved butter and still do. On today's show I shared some interesting facts about butter.
Have you wondered which is better salted or unsalted?

  • Unsalted is best because the amount of salt can vary from brand to brand.Salted butter contains more water, which can interfere with gluten development
  • Salt masks butters naturally sweet, delicate flavors and can be overwhelming
Where should you store butter?
  • Place in back of fridge where it’s coldest. Don't use the compartment in the door.
  • Butter will keep for 2 1/2 weeks in the refrigerator and up to 4 months in the freezer.
  • Place in ziplock bag (before freezing) so that it won’t pick up other odor
Why is it important to use the proper temperature in a recipe?
  • Chilled butter-should be cold and unyeilding
  • Cold butter melts during baking leaving behind small pockets of air that create flaky layers in recipes like pie dough and croissants.
  • Room Temperature-should easily bend without breaking
  • Softened butter is flexible enough to be whipped but firm enough to retain the incorporated air-vital to making cakes with a tender crumb.
  • Melted and Cooled-should be fluid and slightly warm
  • Butter is roughly 16% water; when melted, water breaks from the emulsion and helps create gluten for chewier cookies.

It really is the most complete baby name book that I have ever seen! Lesley said that it's very important to select the right name. You need to think about your child and most people select a first name that has meaning-not necessarily what the name actually means, but why it has meaning to the Mom and Dad. You also need to consider how the first name sounds (on it's own) and also when paired with the last name. The trend right now is for more traditional, classical names and the Social Security office will release the top 10 for 2011 this May. So stay tuned....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

This week's Book Nook:

Monday, April 11th:
"THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BABY NAMES: THE MOST UNIQUE NAMES, THE MOST IDEA GENERATING LISTS, 660+ NAMES AND THE MOST HELP TO FIND THE PERFECT NAME" ~ Lesley Bolton, author of the #1 baby name book in the country will give us an expert's view on the best baby names.

Tuesday, April 12th:
"WILLIWAW WINDS", ~ Sally Bair, a Wisconsin author from Washburn, Wisconsin. (Sally will be in Columbus on Saturday, April 16th at the Columbus Public Library for a presentation and book signing). Her book is fiction but based on the true story of her son's rescue in the Bering Straits.

Wednesday, April 13th:
"MOBY-DUCK" THE TRUE STORY OF 28,800 BATH TOYS LOST AT SEA AND OF THE BEACHCOMBERS, OCEANOGRAPHERS, ENVIRIONMENTALISTS AND FOOLS, INCLUDING THE AUTHOR, WHO WENT IN SEARCH OF THEM". ~ Donovon Hohn, who heard about the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea and wanted to tell their story.

and at 10:30 Dick Zondag, "The Garden Doctor" joins us for his 30 minute program and will be available to answer all your gardening questions.

Thursday, April 14th:
"ALREADY HOME", ~ Susan Mallery, a New York Times best selling author, her newest novel, tells the story of a woman dealing with family relationships, dating and finding a new direction in her life.

Friday, April 15th:
"6 SECRETS TO STARTUP SUCCESS: HOW TO TURN YOUR ENTREPENEURIAL PASSION INTO A THRIVING BUSINESS" ~John Bradberry talks to us about the things you need to do (and need to know) in order to run your own successful business.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Twinkies and Trilogies

Today is National Twinkie Day!

I haven't eaten a Twinkie in forever, but I remember what a treat it was to find one in my brown bag lunch that I would take to school. That tasty sponge cake and the luscious creamy vanilla filling! YUM! Who doesn't like Twinkies?

Maybe like me, you haven't really given much thought to Twinkies but I uncovered some Twinkie Trivia that might interest you...

  • Twinkies were invented in River Forest, Illinois in 1930 by James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Compan

  • Several machines used for making cream-filled strawberry shortcake, sat idle when berries weren’t in season so he conceived a snack cake filled with banana cream and dubbed them “Twinkies”.

  • During WWII bananas were rationed and company substituted vanilla cream

  • In 1988 fruit and cream filling (strawberry & vanilla swirl) introduced but was not very well received and soon was dropped

  • Deep-fried Twinkie debuted at Texas State Fair and now fried Twinkies are sold throughout the US at fairs as well as ball games

Did you also buy into the urban legend regarding the "shelf life" of a Twinkie? It was said that Twinkies could last 20,50, even 100 years due to chemicals used is. NOT TRUE!

They will last at least 25 days or more, because they are made without unstabilized dairy products or eggs and thus spoil slower than most bakery items, however, don't tuck some away to eat 2o years from now!

Upon realizing that this was a day to celebrate that great American snack cake, I remembered a recipe that I haven't made for many, many years: The Twinkie Dessert. (see below)

Twinkie Dessert 11-12 Twinkies

1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips

5 Tbsp. water

5 Tbsp. sugar

6 eggs, divided

1 container Cool Whip

Cut Twinkies in half, lengthwise and lay cream side up in 9x13” pan. Melt chocolate chips, water & sugar in saucepan stirring occasionally until dissolved. Set aside to cool. Add egg yolks, one at a time; beating well after each addition. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture. Pour over Twinkies. Cover with Cool Whip and refrigerate before serving.

All this talk about Twinkies is making me hungry!

In my Book Nook segment today, I spoke with Sherryl Woods about her newest novel, "DRIFTWOOD COTTAGE". It is the first of three (trilogy) novels set on the beautiful, fictional shores of Chesapeake Shores. The story centers around the relationship between Heather Donovan and Connor O'Brien. Connor's parents' divorce and his career as a high powered divorce attorney has left him jaded about marriage. Sherryl believes that women gravitate to these kinds of stories because they have issues that matter to them and that they can relate to; and sometimes readers are disconnected from their families and by following a "series" they can connect with characters that can help them relate to things going on in their own lives. Sherryl also believes in happy endings and this story is a heartwarming account of love, marriage, relationships and all that goes with it.

(The next novel in the series: "MOONLIGHT COVE" will be released at the end of April and the third one, "BEACH LANE", will be available sometime in May.) You can check out her website at http://www.sherrylwoods.com/