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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Taste-bud Journey: Berry and Applesauce Roll-ups Round 3

During the pandemic, I am taking taste-bud journeys as I self-isolate rather than physical journeys. Here is my adapted recipe for the third round for attempting to make successful Fruit Roll-ups. This time, I only used berries and applesauce. As always, I added a flavored water enhancer for a sweetener. I also added chia seeds for its gelling properties and for extra nourishment. It was inspired by watching the various YouTube tutorials including the one included at the end of this blog.

Conclusion: Third time is definitely not the charm! Lol! This is what I learned:

I dried them 6 hours on one side at 145 degrees Fahrenheit. I used the offset spatula to easily flip them over. They felt totally dry on the one side and a little dampish on the reverse side. So, I dried them one last hour. After cooling, I used a clean pair of scissors to cut each one into three long strips. I could tell right away that they were too brittle to roll correctly. Several of the strips broke into pieces, similar to peanut brittle, as I attempted to roll them.

So, the experiment is going to have to continue. I think if I had dried them only five hours on one side and one hour on the reverse side, they might have been pliant enough to roll.

OR

Perhaps the  mistake was still using too high of a temperature. The next time I make these yummy treats, I will dry them at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. If you recall, I have already tried drying them at 125 degrees and 165 degrees. 125 degrees was too low. 165 degrees was too high. I will also check them at four hours to see if I can flip them at that point.

Otherwise, I at least got the thickness level right. Also, using coconut oil to grease the silicone sheets was a smart move. Squaring them off on each side and not trying to spread them too thin was also a smart move. I simply need to take corrective actions on the drying temperature combined with the drying time.

In any case, these are still quite yummy. I will have zero problem eating them. It is just that the tenacious part of me wants to get this challenge resolved as I continue to polish my learning curve using my Cosori Dehydrator.




 












Recipe

  • Thawed frozen fruit such as raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries
  • 3 containers of single-serving unsweetened applesauce
  • Coconut Oil to grease the silicone molds
  • 3 tablespoons of Chia Seeds (for binding and extra nourishment)
  • 12 long squirts (to taste) of Grape Water Enhancer (flavored sweetener)




Procedure 

  • Step 1: Using a food processor, blend all solid fruit into a purée.

  • Step 2: Mix whatever fruit together that you personally find to be a tasty mixture. In my case, I used strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and unsweetened applesauce.
  • Step 3: Add as much or as little sweetener as you find to be pleasing. Since I had a large mixing bowl full of blended fruit, I gave it about 12 long squirts of Grape Water Enhancer.


  • Step 4: Once you feel the taste is exactly what you desire, add in 3 tablespoons of Chia Seeds to help bind this mixture together plus add extra nourishment. After stirring it all in, set your timer for at least fifteen minutes to give it time to gel.

  • Step 5: Load your trays with this fruit mixture on silicone molds with lips on the side to prevent the mixture from spilling over to the trays below. Using an offset spatula, spread out the mixture to be about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Do not try to push the mixture to the edges of the raised-lipped mold. Instead, using the offset spatula, push the edges together about 1/2 inch or a bit more from the edges of the mold. That will make this much easier to peel and flip. Make certain the mixture is thicker on the edges than the middle. However, do not make the middle parts too thin.  






























  • Step 6: Plug in your dehydrator and set the temperature gauge to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the time for six hours so you can check on how the drying process is going. 















  • Step 7: As indicated in the explanation at the top of this page, I think I should have dried them at 135 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 145 degrees. I also think I should have checked them at four hours instead of six hours. It was the middle of the night. That was part of why I decided to check them at six hours to get a bit more sleep. With this batch, I dried them six hours on one side, easily flipped them using my offset spatula, and then dried the reversed side one additional hour. I noticed as I flipped them that they felt relatively pliant at that point. But given that the reverse side was a bit on the damp side, I gave it one final hour of drying time. Live and learn! LOL!















Here is a video tutorial for how to make applesauce fruit rollups in the oven. It is short and sweet. The chef dried hers for 6 to 8 hours in the oven at 170 degrees Fahrenheit.







In case you are interested in where I got these 'kitchen toys,' here are the links. They will all open in a new window. FYI - I don't get any special perks for posting these. This is simply listed for the convenience for people, like me, who adore kitchen gadgets and baking aids.


Cooking Sites that have inspired me:


Books written by Debbie Dunn:

Here is the Amazon Link to all anti-bullying curriculum books plus all children’s books written by Debbie Dunn (both paperback and Kindle). It will open up in a new window.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Taste-bud Journey: Mixed Berries Cobbler

During the pandemic, I am taking taste-bud journeys as I self-isolate rather than physical journeys. Here is my adapted recipe for making a Mixed Berries Cobbler. It was inspired by a recipe for peach cobbler shared with me by my second-oldest niece. I decided to get creative and try it out with a berry mixture that included strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Although I liked the results better when made with peaches, this still was pretty tasty - especially served with homemade vanilla ice cream. Yum!



   













Recipe for making 9"x13" fruit medley cobbler [FYI - I made a reduced 7" round version of this.]

  • A thawed package of frozen fruit medley that included the juice
  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup butter sliced into 24 pieces
  • Brown sugar to taste
  • Ground cinnamon to taste


















Procedure

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Step 2: Spread desired fruit medley, with liquid, into a greased 9x13 baking dish.





  • Step 3: Sprinkle liberal amounts of brown sugar and ground cinnamon, to taste, over the fruit.



  • Step 4: Sprinkle entire cake mix evenly over the fruit.



  • Step 5: Place butter slivers evenly over cake mix.

  • Step 6: Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.



  • Step 7: Eat and enjoy! I like to eat mine with a serving of vanilla ice cream.






Here is my blog post for homemade vanilla ice cream that I ate along with a large helping of mixed berries shortcake. So, good!

Taste-bud Journey: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream using Dash Ice Cream Maker




Cooking Sites that have inspired me:


Books written by Debbie Dunn:

Here is the Amazon Link to all anti-bullying curriculum books plus all children’s books written by Debbie Dunn (both paperback and Kindle). It will open up in a new window.



Monday, May 31, 2021

Taste-bud Journey: Teriyaki Salmon, Bell Peppers, and Broccoli - served over Rice Pilaf

During the pandemic, I am taking taste-bud journeys as I self-isolate rather than physical journeys. Here is my adapted recipe for making Teriyaki Salmon, Bell Peppers, and Broccoli - served over Rice Pilaf. It was inspired by hearing my younger brother rave about the meal he and his family celebrated Easter Sunday at the Tokyo Restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee where they cook at your table. I'm certain their meals were delicious! I know for sure that mine was. Plus, I didn't have to drive anywhere. I cook pull items from my freezer and have a sit-down dinner in about 16 minutes (12 minutes + 90 seconds + 2 minutes prep).

Side-note: What a difference a year can make! Woe! It was about early February of 2020 that I last went to one of those Asian restaurants where they cook at your table. In Decatur, Alabama, my favorite restaurant of that type was Ninja Japanese Restaurant. Gazing at the very expensive bill, I remember thinking, "I should just buy some rice, some salmon, some veggies, and a teriyaki sauce I really like and make my own!" At that time, I hardly ever cooked and went out to eat a whole lot. I must admit, I feel so much more empowered in the kitchen thanks to all the cooking experiments I have carried out since early December of 2020. 

Little did I suspect that day that the thought of sitting down with a bunch of people I didn't know (or even if I did know them) would eventually feel like the riskiest thing ever to do! Sigh and double sigh! Like I said, what a difference a year can make!

By the way, I actually made this meal on Easter Sunday. Happy belated Easter, everybody! May we all have a much happier and safer and healthier coming year!


 















Recipe

  • Frozen Coho Salmon (or whatever type salmon you like)
  • Veggies of your choice - I chose Tri-colored Bell Peppers and Broccoli florets
  • About 1/2 cup of Teriyaki sauce - I used Mr. Yoshida's Marinade & Cooking Sauce - Sweet Teriyaki Original Gourmet































Procedure

  • Step 1: Using a microwave steamer, fill it with frozen salmon, frozen veggies, and about 1/2 cup of Teriyaki Sauce.











































  • Step 2: Add the lid. Microwave for 12 minutes.
















  • Step 3: Cook your rice. I used Rice Pilaf that can be microwaved and ready to serve in 90 seconds.
















  • Step 4: Dish out some rice. Top it with your salmon, veggies, and some of the sauce. For me, this was enough to make two servings. Eat and enjoy!

In case you're interested, this is where I purchased the Microwave Steamer. It has been a time-saver for some of the recipes I have made. Sadly, I did notice that the price has gone up $6 since I purchased mine. So, it is possible you could get it cheaper elsewhere.

Bene Casa microwave steamer, automatic draining steamer, microwave pasta cooker, microwave fish steamer, microwave rice cooker from Walmart.com



Cooking Sites that have inspired me:


Books written by Debbie Dunn:

Here is the Amazon Link to all anti-bullying curriculum books plus all children’s books written by Debbie Dunn (both paperback and Kindle). It will open up in a new window.