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Spreading the love of cooking

Spreading the love of cooking

We asked you guys to share your cooking tips with the world for Food Revolution Day 2013. People took photos of their tips or skills, and wrote tweets with the hashtag #myFRDtip. We then promoted the best of the bunch on the Jamie Oliver website, then picked the best one and sent the winner a lovely Jamie-inspired prize.

Here are just a few examples from our Editor Jim Tanfield…

#Tip take the shell off hard-boiled eggs in a small bowl of cool water. They peel off like a dream and leave little mess.

#Tip don’t throw any red/white wine dregs away after a party. Make ice cubes from them and then use in stocks and sauces!

#Tip shop-bought herbs wilting? Bung them in the freezer to prolong their freshness, takes minutes to defrost when needed.

Spread the Love: Herbal Recipes to Treat Yourself & Others

The intoxicating fragrance of jasmine on a warm summer’s night, the alluring hues of wild roses, borage and calendula, and the juicy sweetness of a fully ripe peach are all part of nature’s divine craft of seduction. They entice us through our senses to do their bidding. With each pluck, nibble, and inhale, they’ve lured us to spread their seeds, replant their roots, and release their pollen to keep alive their cycle of reproduction.

We invite you to further lavish yourself in nature’s pleasures through these sumptuous recipes. Access your most flirtatious self through our Kissable Beet Root Lip & Cheek Stain awaken your sensuality with Damiana-laced Rosewater Truffles and relax into bliss with our Stay Supple Bath Soak recipe.

Take pleasure in working with your hands as you craft these delights and relish in the joy of spreading this plant love.

Looking for a trusted source for your DIY ingredients? Try our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs.

As you get creating, remember to tag us @tradmedicinals on Instagram. We’d love to see your labors of love!

Spreading The Love With Biscoff Panna Cotta

Have you tried the wonders that is Biscoff yet? Please tell me you have so I’m not alone in my obsession with this wonderful treat! There are two Biscoffs for me – the actual cookie and then the spread made from the Biscoff cookies. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been known to keep a package of both in my desk at the 9to9 for those days when you just need a nibble of something sweet.

Recently, I found a lovely package of Biscoff spread waiting for me on the doorstep and, while I was tempted to channel my inner Gollum from Lord of the Rings and start telling everyone “Mine Mine” – I figured I would take my stilettos into the kitchen and whip up something for everyone. Sure, the Biscoff spread is perfect on its own but to have it meld in a recipe so seamlessly – that was my objective. I wanted a recipe that was as chic as the Biscoff brand was but also something that was comforting and would not be so overly difficult. Then it hit me – I would make a Biscoff Panna Cotta.

I adore Panna Cottas – they are not difficult to make and are so chic to serve. I think the hardest part is the waiting for everything to set up correctly. In preparing this recipe, one other suggestion I have is that you have everything portioned out because, once you get started, it moves quickly. To garnish these lovely dishes of comfort, crushed Biscoff cookies add a bit of texture and will have your guests asking for seconds.

This Biscoff Panna Cotta is a must have recipe for your tried and true file and, when they ask where you came up with this lovely – just tell them it’s just a “little something” you whipped up.

Gather the ingredients

A tale of two Biscoffs – the Spread and the Cookies

The key to perfection – the gelatin

Everything is measured and ready to go – with a bit more Biscoff of course

Coming Soon

“Everything happens in the kitchen. Life happens in the kitchen.” – Andrew Zimmern, Chef & Author.

The kitchen is the heart of a home. In mine, preparing meals, cooking and baking brings a huge amount of pleasure and joy.

Those feelings combined with the delight of using the right tools for the job, the proper cookware, kitchen gadgets and the sheer pleasure of setting a beautiful table, are the inspiration behind Main Course Kitchen.

Curating exceptional products, and sharing experiences, and spreading the love of all things kitchen are what Main Course Kitchen is all about. Bringing these products, tools, and décor into your home will double my joy, and hopefully, add to yours.

Welcome to Main Course Kitchen.


You can browse through a variety of products, such as: cookware, kitchen gadgets, dinnerware, glassware, cutlery, and table linens. Plus, a lovely collection of stationary products, like greeting cards, shopping lists, recipe boxes and wine journals.

Main Course Kitchen offers an array of affordable, quality products. The types of products that you would want for your cooking and baking needs, with a few brands of lovely dinnerware and linens that will look like jewelry for your table.

Share the Love of Books

This month, instead of spreading the love through chocolates and candy hearts, let us help you find some new books to love! We include a cookbook and lessons in love from some forest friends.

Let’s Cook! by Susan McQuillan, RD

Want to get your children involved in cooking at home? This Sesame Street themed Let’s Cook! will have them wanting to help out every day! Featuring recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, snacks and desserts, there’s something in this book for everyone to love! Recipes are easy enough for your little ones to help, and parents will love the creative use of fruits and vegetables (like Ernie’s Light and Easy Veggie Lasagna Rolls, Best Buddies Banana Pancakes, Oscar’s Green-Like-Me Smoothie and Rosita’s Chicken Taco Burgers with Mexi-Cali Salad)!

There are plenty of recipes included in the book that you could make ahead that would be great to bring on the trail, like Abby Cadabby’s Very Cherry Multigrain Muffins and Big Bird’s Homemade Seed Crackers.

The book also includes an ABCs of healthy foods with pictures and a section on kitchen safety and food allergies. Pictures with Sesame Street characters accompany each recipe, which will keep your little chefs engaged and interested in the recipes. The end results are tasty, heart-healthy recipes your whole family can enjoy!

I Love You More by Megan Roth

This board book takes readers through the forest to meet animals and their mothers and fathers. The theme of “Do you know how much I love you?” travels from page to page as the readers get the chance to lift the book’s flaps to see the animal pairs happy together. Bright illustrations and scenes of nature accompany the story’s message of love.

Little Cub by Olivier Dunrea

Old Bear and Little Cub each live alone in the forest. While Old Bear doesn’t like being along and wishes he had someone to share his abundance of food with, Little Cub needs someone to teach him to fish and keep him company. The two end up meeting and discovering they can take care of and learn from each other. While short in length, Little Cub teaches a lesson that happiness can sometimes be found when you least expect it. This sweet story of true friendship shows just how far a kind word or action can go.

Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

In the first book of the Mother Bruce series, bear Bruce is simply trying to make some eggs. He encounters a big surprise when, instead of cooking breakfast, his eggs hatch, and the newly born ducklings mistake Bruce for their mother. No matter how hard grumpy Bruce tries, he can’t rid himself of the ducklings or his new role of mother. Eventually accepting the ducklings and motherhood as a part of his life, Bruce goes from a bear bachelor to a mother figure, traveling to Florida as his ducklings migrate to warmer weather. Subsequent stories in the series explore Bruce’s relationship with other animals of the forest and Bruce’s role of motherhood.

Hike it Baby now has a Goodreads Group! Join today and add books to our bookshelf! Looking for more member reviews? Search our blog for other Book Review posts! Submit your review here for a chance to be included in an upcoming blog post!


Teacher by day and mother to a preschooler and toddler, Jessica lives in Ohio with her husband, Ben, and cat, Kitty. Transplanted from Wisconsin, she enjoys getting to know her most recent state through exploring and hiking. Jessica would love to travel the world and capture its beauty through photography someday, but for now she is enjoying taking adventures with her family and seeing the world through children’s eyes. Jessica is also a branch ambassador for the Cleveland, Ohio branch. Follow her on Instagram: jgn310
Read More by Jessica

My Cooking Style: Gourmet Budget Meals

I love eating all kinds of foods, but try to limit eating out due to its hefty price tag. My husband and I try our best to save money for our future. It is important for us to live frugally and beneath our means. But that does not mean that we can’t enjoy life, right? We try to save on everything: from rent to clothes (I’m totally a #Maxxonista), and our food costs. If you want to learn to cook gourmet, delicious, and healthy budget meals, you’ve come to the right place! I love using bold flavors, colors, and textures to transform the most humble ingredients into tasty dishes that will razzle dazzle.

Spreading the love of cooking - Recipes

“Send him something sweet,” urged Jean Templeton in The Milwaukee Journal on April 17, 1941. Husbands, sons, brothers, and boyfriends away at war craved desserts in addition to their army meals. “Candy, cookies, cake or a surprise schaum torte are among the packable sweets you may mark ‘perishable’ and rush through the mails by air or special delivery.” Packed between thick layers of popcorn, schaum tortes “go through the mail in perfect shape.” And bonus: with real popcorn packaging, the “entire contents of this package is edible.”

Templeton’s suggestion of schaum torte was a true taste of home for soldiers. It’s a Wisconsin favorite, particularly among those of German descent, that few outside the state know.

“I never realized there was anything unique about it until I was an adult,” says Milwaukee native Lori Fredrich, author of Milwaukee Food: A History of Cream City Cuisine. “My grandmother made schaum torte for Easter every year, and ladies sometimes brought it to church potlucks and community events. It was a special occasion food.”

Schaum torte, or sometimes schaumentorten, is German in origin. Its name translates to “foam cake,” an apt description of its meringue base. In Germany, a torte usually refers to a layered cake made with little or no flour. Prepared with little more than egg whites and sugar, schaum torte is typically baked in a springform pan and topped with cream and fruit.

Meringues like schaum torte are familiar desserts in many cultures. It’s closest relative is the more well known pavlova, named for the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, though meringue sweets have a much longer history.

Desserts made from sweetened egg whites appear in cookbooks dating back to at least the 17th century. Lady Elinor Fettiplace’s 1604 cookbook included a recipe for “White Bisket Bread” that called for 1½ pounds of sugar, a handful of flour and 12 egg whites, a recipe not unlike that used for meringue today.

Schaum torte may trace its origins to the Spanische Windtorte, often called the “fanciest cake in Vienna” during the height of its popularity in the Austro-Hungarian Empire of the 1600s. Made of cylindrical rings of baked meringue, the complex dessert holds whipped cream and fruit and is traditionally decorated with crystallized or fondant violets. It got its name from the ruling Austrian Hapsburg family, who controlled much of Central Europe between the 15th and 18th centuries, and had a fascination with all things Spanish.

The Wisconsin version likely comes from Germany or Austria, traveling to the United States with immigrants. The Joy of Cooking traces schaum torte back to Wisconsin in the 1870s. It also offered some advice for making it. “If you are cursed with a mental hazard in regard to meringues, dismiss it,” counseled Joy author Irma Rombauer. Milwaukee’s own Lizzie Kander included a recipe for schaum torte, or kiss torte as it also appears to be known, in The Settlement Cookbook.

Although strawberries are common, the fruit topping can vary. In 1973, Milwaukeean Betty Sakar won the National Pineapple Cooking Classic with her “Hawaii Five-O Torte,” a recipe based on schaum torte. Sakar’s tarte called for canned pineapple and lemon pudding. Other versions, like the one served at Pappy’s Bay Shore restaurant, a favorite with Vince Lombardi and Packers players, featured pecans and hot chocolate.

The recipe for schaum torte doesn’t call for many ingredients, but it does require some precision.

Older eggs tend to make the best meringues because the whites are thinner, beating up faster and attracting air quickly. Fresh eggs tend to have thicker egg whites that require more beating to achieve the even viscosity of a perfect meringue.

Sugar is the key to both sweetness and volume. The sugar pulls water from the whites as the proteins recombine around air bubbles. It also helps the beaten whites hold their shape and gives the meringue its distinctive look and texture.

The meringue emerges golden and crusty from the oven. As it cools, the center of the meringue collapses, creating a hollow for berries and cream.

There are two camps with regard to the texture of the meringue: those who like it crispy and dry and those who like it crisp exterior with a marshmallow-soft interior. The difference comes in cooking time and temperature.

“My family lands firmly in the marshmallow-y category,” Fredrich says. “And, as a child, I thought that those little hard disks of meringue were a sign that the torte had been overbaked.”

Lori’s paternal grandmother got the recipe from her aunt, Edna Riebe, although it’s possible that the recipe goes even further back. A favorite dessert, Fredrich made her first schaum torte for prom. Her high school boyfriend loved schaum torte so she made it as an after-prom treat. Her grandmother insisted she borrow her springform pan so it would turn out right.

“I really took on the tradition of making schaum torte in my family,” Fredrich says. “You could even say it launched me on my food trajectory because it was this recipe that I sought to make and preserve.”

Once married, Fredrich made schaum torte for her father-in-law for Father’s Day. Because the meringue requires so many egg whites, leaving a lot of yolks, she began making lemon curd for a topping with the strawberries.

“Schaum torte can be an achingly sweet dessert, so I like how the tart lemon curd cuts through the sweetness,” Fredrich says.

Many people make schaum torte at home or for community events but it can still be found on menus, primarily old-school supper clubs, ethnic restaurants, and steak houses. Karl Ratzch’s serves its schaum torte with strawberries, cream and ice cream. Joey Gerard’s, the Bartolotta Restaurant Group’s modern take on a supper club, features schaum torte as does Alioto’s in Wauwatosa, which opened in the 1920s and features the Alioto family recipe for the dessert.

But that said, schaum torte may be becoming an endangered food.

“Schaum torte is a piece of nostalgia that I think may be fading,” Fredrich says. “It’s still beloved by many people but it is becoming less familiar.”

Fredrich is doing her part to keep schaum torte alive. A few years ago, she entered an adapted version of her grandmother’s recipe in a contest. The recipe won and was featured for a time on the menu of Il Mito in Wauwatosa. Her grandmother, since deceased, was astonished and thrilled that her recipe had inspired this modern version.

“Recipes are meant to be shared. I believe they have a way of developing a life of their own,” Fredrich says. “Sharing my schaum torte recipe is spreading the love to my friends and family. It’s also keeping my German heritage and family baking traditions going.

Marmite mac and cheese recipe

The ultimate comfort food: a dash of Marmite stirred through indulgent mac and cheese. Best of all, you can make this recipe in a mug.

Recipe from Cooking on a Bootstrap by Jack Monroe, available to buy now (Bluebird, £15.99).


  • 75 g macaroni or other short pasta
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 0.5 tsp Marmite or other yeast extract
  • 20 g hard strong cheese
  • 2.6 oz macaroni or other short pasta
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 0.5 tsp Marmite or other yeast extract
  • 0.7 oz hard strong cheese
  • 2.6 oz macaroni or other short pasta
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 0.5 tsp Marmite or other yeast extract
  • 0.7 oz hard strong cheese


  • Cuisine: British
  • Recipe Type: Pasta
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 5 mins
  • Cooking Time: 5 mins
  • Serves: 1


  1. Tip the pasta into a mug and cover with 250ml (8.5floz) cold water.
  2. Cover the mug with cling film and pierce it several times, or balance a small saucer on top &ndash make sure neither mug nor saucer have any metal on.
  3. Stand the mug in a bowl or jug. Cook on full power for 2 minutes, then remove the mug. It&rsquos usual for water to bubble up over the sides and drench the bottom of your microwave, so to save cleaning it up and topping it up again, just tip the water back into the mug.
  4. Give it all a good stir and leave to stand for a minute. Repeat this step twice more, until your pasta is soft and swollen. You may need to add a splash more water here or there, which is fine &ndash not all microwaves, nor pasta, are created equal.
  5. Add the butter, stir in the Marmite and grate over the cheese. Cook for 1 more minute on full power, stir well and serve.

This recipe is from Cooking on a Bootstrap by Jack Monroe, available to buy now (Bluebird, £15.99). Photography by Mike English.

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Mexican Rice Casserole

I love Mexican food, so even after eating lots of it last week in honor of Cinco de Mayo, my cravings were not satisfied. This Mexican Rice Casserole is very filling with lots of rice, beef, tomatoes and cheese. I was pretty happy with it as is, but then I put a dollop of Wholly Guacamole on top and that really brought it up a notch. Personally, I think guacamole has that effect on most dishes. If you’re looking for a hearty meal with Mexican flair for only 7 Green, 6 Blue or 2 Purple myWW SmartPoints, this one’s for you.

***For some unknown reason the original post for this recipe was messing up my category labels (appetizers, casseroles, desserts, etc) so I had to take it down and re-post it. I’m simply mentioning this to avoid any confusion of the “didn’t she already post this?” or “hey, it’s not the week after Cinco de Mayo!” variety. This concludes the Emily Bites special bulletin.***

Fried Oysters

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

You might see fried oysters on menus from time to time, but when was the last time you made them at home? Thanks to this foolproof recipe, making these delicacies that were once consumed across the coastal US is now a possibility and you will see why they were so delicious. By keeping the recipe straightforward, you can concoct this light seafood favorite that can star at any dinner spread.

Watch the video: Klemen Slakonja as Pope Francis - Modern Pope #SpreadLove (December 2021).