Monday, April 14, 2014

Hot Cross Buns


Traditionally made for Easter, hot cross buns originated in England, but the cross on the bun is rooted in an ancient Celtic symbol representing the human and the divine. Make our delicious recipe at home to celebrate Easter - or any day of the year!

Hot Cross Buns

2 packages yeast, active dry
2 cups of milk scalded and cooled (instructions below)
½ cup of butter or shortening
1 tsp. Salt
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs
½ to 1 tsp. Cinnamon, to taste
1 ½ cup raisins
8 cups flour (you may need less or more depending on the weather or other factors beyond your control)

In a small bowl soak your yeast in ½ cup of warm water.
Scald milk and cool to about 90 degrees.
           - Scalding milk: bring the milk nearly to a boil (185°F), preferably in a thick-bottomed pan, and stir actively. (Stirring helps keep a protein skin from forming on the surface and keeps the proteins and sugar from sticking to the bottom of the pan.) If you don’t scald your milk before using it, there is a chance that the volume of your bread will be affected and it may not rise as much as you would like.

Cream together butter, salt, and sugar. Add beaten eggs, cinnamon, raisins, yeast, and cooled milk. Work in enough flour to make a soft dough. Set dough in a bowl and cover so it does not dry out. Let rise until it doubles in size.

After they have risen, punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured board. We divide the dough into 2 oz. portions and roll into a ball. The experienced bakers can roll with both hands filling an 18 by 12 inch pan with 2 ½ dozen rolls in just over a minute. Home bakers can shape the dough as desired and bake until golden on top.

Icing

Mix together…
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1-2 tbsp. warm water, milk, or cream (use amount for desired thickness)
½ tsp. vanilla or lemon juice (use a bit of grated lemon rind with the lemon juice)

Spread or drizzle an X over each bun while slightly warm.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Maine Maple Sunday

It’s Maine Maple Sunday’s 31st anniversary this Sunday! The history of maple syrup began with Native Americans in the Northeast, who used it as an all-purpose seasoning and a staple food. They boiled the syrup by dropping red-hot stones into wooden containers filled with sap. This sounds like even more work than it takes to make maple syrup today, not to mention being a dangerous undertaking!  Europeans brought the iron kettle to the process, which made making maple syrup easier and cleaner.

An interesting fact is that Thomas Jefferson tried to develop a “sugar bush” at his Monticello home, but the attempt failed and didn’t produce sweet syrup. Maine is the perfect place for making maple syrup since the sugar in sap only appears when warm, sunny days follow below-freezing nights continuously in the spring.

How do you decipher the different colors and flavors when buying maple syrup? Choose a light, golden color for a subtle flavor (great on ice cream) and a very dark color for use in recipes that call for a strong maple flavor (cookies, breads, and baked beans). The most popular syrup is a dark amber color, great for any use.


Here’s our recipe for waffles – just one of the many foods to put maple syrup on!

Waffles:

   2 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
   1 ¾ c. milk
   2 c. flour
   4 tsp. baking powder
   1 tbsp. Sugar
   ¼ tsp. salt
   4 tbsp. melted butter
   1 tsp. vanilla extract

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir in melted butter, milk, and   vanilla. Beat the egg yolks and add them to the dry mixture.

Beat egg whites w/ whisk until they form stiff peaks and carefully fold them into the rest of the ingredients so as not to lose the airy volume.

Using a waffle iron, pour about ½ cup of batter onto griddle and close the lid. Cook for about 3-5 min. or until golden.

If cooking for a large crowd, you can keep waffles warm in a low       temperature oven, but you will lose some of the crispiness. Waffles can also   be frozen and come back to life remarkably well in the toaster.


Pour maple syrup on – real Maine maple syrup, of course. If you really want to go all out, sprinkle with walnuts or pecans, and top with whipped cream. Then sit down and enjoy this breakfast treat!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Boiled Dinner



Whether you eat corned beef and cabbage as a traditional home cooked meal during the week or you only enjoy this delectable meal once a year on St. Patrick’s Day, we thought we would share how we make it! Our customers have called it the best around town.

2lbs. Well-trimmed corned beef brisket
3 cups baby carrots
6 small onions
1 turnip, cubed
3 potatoes, cut in half
1 small head of cabbage, quartered
1 small can whole beets
1 tbsp. pickling spice

Place corned beef in Dutch oven (or large heavy pot) and cover with water.
Add pickling spices. Simmer for 3 hours.
Add all the vegetables and simmer for another 60 minutes.
Remove beef to warm platter, and keep warm.

This can also be cooked in a crock-pot. Add all the ingredients and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Traditional boiled dinners are served with a side of beets.

For all those “tradition changers” we’ve got a couple ways to spice it up. Try a Reuben, with thick corned beef slices, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese with Russian or Thousand Island dressing on rye bread. Simplify it with just corned beef and Swiss cheese. Or take different route and make it into a club sandwich!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Pancake Day!

To celebrate, we're offering made-from-scratch pancakes for $1 all day!! Feast your eyes and taste buds on these pancakes!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Banana Cream Pie




Bananas for Banana Cream Pie? Get ready to celebrate Banana Cream Pie Day on March 2. Take one of our banana cream pies home or have a slice for dessert.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy Cherry Pie Day!

It's Cherry Pie Day! Did you know that there are 1,000 varieties of cherry trees, but only 10 varieties are produced commercially? Each tree produces 7,000 cherries, which is about 30 pies' worth.

Cherries have lots of antioxidants, and are especially rich in Vitamin C and potassium. 

Find more fun cherry facts at:
www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/fruits/cherry-facts.asp