Candy

Ways To Make The Most Of Seasonal Citrus

January 31, 2016

Ways To Make The Most Of Seasonal Citrus

Zest It
Add zip to baked goods, stir-fries or stews. Make citrus salt!

Juice It
Lemons juice helps keep sliced fruits and root vegetables from turning brown. Finish savory dishes with a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the flavors.

Freeze It
Freeze citrus juice or zest until you’re ready to use it.

Dry It
Bake peels on the lowest possible heat until dry, but still pliable. Use to flavor black tea, roasted chicken or braised meats.

Candy It
Garnish desserts and cocktails with candied peels or enjoy them as a sweet snack.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Paleo Diet

January 18, 2016

Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet (short for Paleolithic) is fashioned around the eating habits and available foods of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. These ancestors had to nourish themselves with the meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fats available to them in nature. With the benefit of large supermarkets, it’s easy today to mimic these foods in wider variety. Specific recommendations for eating Paleo will vary; however, the main ideas are the same: Reduce the risk of debilitating diseases and optimize health by eating whole, fresh, unprocessed foods and avoid foods that were not available prior to the advent of modern agriculture.

Research studies looking at the Paleo Diet have noted that eating a Paleo Diet for a short term improved the glucose control and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes, compared to eating a diet containing low-fat dairy, moderate salt intake, whole grains, and legumes. Additional research indicates similar results may be possible in people without type 2 diabetes as well. The Paleo diet may result in higher levels of satiety (fullness) throughout the day when compared with a low-fat, low-calorie diet.

Paleo Do’s
Eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables and fruits.

Make fresh meat, poultry, fish, and seafood your primary sources calories.

Avoid highly processed meats that contain preservatives, artificial flavors, and sugar, such as some sausages, bacon, deli meats, and smoked fish products.

Consume nuts and seeds.

Use coconut oil, grass-fed butter, olive oil, avocado oil, nut and seed oils, and animal fats, such as goose fat or duck fat, for cooking and eating.

Balance the intake of acid-producing foods (meats, fish, salt, and cheese) with base-producing foods (fruits and vegetables) for optimal health.

Use sea salt to season foods, but try to decrease sodium intake in general.

Paleo Don’ts
Consume highly processed packaged foods.

Get heavy handed with the salt shaker.

Eat grains of any kinds. Quinoa, bulgur, rice, wheat, bread, pasta, etc., are all out.

Consume sugar (including honey and maple syrup), sweets, candy, or desserts.

Use artificial sweeteners, such as monk fruit extract, stevia, NutraSweet or Equal (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose), or sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, sorbitol, or maltitol.

Eat legumes, beans, peas, lentils, or soy, or foods make from soybeans.

Use canola or soybean oils or consume hydrogenated oils (trans fats).

Consume dairy, with the exception of fermented dairy or raw milk cheese on occasion.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Storing Candy

December 12, 2014

Storing Candy

One of the nice things about homemade candy is that it can be eaten when it is at its freshest. In addition, it contains no chemicals, artificial flavoring, or preservatives, although the lack of preservatives does limit its storage capabilities. Most homemade candy, however, will keep well for several weeks if it is stored properly. The exception is divinity, which gets stale quickly and should be eaten within two days of preparation.

Here are some rules for storing candy successfully.

Sticky and chewy candies, like taffy, nougat, and caramels, and hard candies, like butterscotch, should be individually wrapped in waxed paper, plastic wrap, or foil.

All candy keeps best in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Some chocolate candies, like truffles, are best stored in the refrigerator. 

Do not store brittle candies in the same container with soft, creamy candies. The moisture from the soft candies may make the hard candies sticky. 

Candy freezes well. Place the candy, individually wrapped if appropriate, in a cardboard box or plastic container. Overwrap the container with freezer paper or foil. To thaw the candy, let it stand for several hours, or overnight, and come to room temperature before opening the container. This will prevent moisture from collecting on the candies because of the temperature change.  

"Work With What You Got!"

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

Making The Best Candy

December 11, 2014

Making The Best Candy

Candy is not difficult to make. Some candy recipes require little or no cooking at all. Other candy recipes need only careful timing and adequate beating. For some types of candy, however, special care is necessary. Follow these basic instructions and you can become a successful and versatile candy maker. 

Always read a recipe through from beginning to end BEFORE starting to cook. This is important with all recipes, but especially candy recipes. You never will know if you need special equipment or a special ingredient until you read the recipe. 

Always use the best quality, freshest ingredient available.

Measure ingredients accurately, using standard measuring spoons for small amounts, a fluid measuring cup for liquids, and graduated measuring cups for dry ingredients.

Follow recipes carefully. Use only the ingredients specified and add them in the order and by the method given. 

To prevent sugaring, carefully follow directions about stirring and about covering the pan.

Use moderate or low heat, according to instructions in the recipe, so the syrup does not reach the boiling point too quickly. 

Always use a saucepan large enough to allow space for the candy to bubble up when boiling. A 2 quart pan is large enough in most cases, but sometimes a 3 quart or even a 4 quart pan is preferable. A pan in which candy is made should be a heavy gauge metal, which holds heat evenly and will prevent sticking.

Candy making involves a lot of stirring and beating. Although an electric mixer may be used in some stages of preparation, such as beating egg whites for divinity, for most candy mixtures a spoon is best. A long handled wooden spoon is preferable, since it will never get too hot to handle.  God bless wooden spoons!

A candy thermometer that clips onto the side of the pan is almost a necessity for successful candy making, since it is critical that the candy be removed fro the heat at the moment it reaches the proper temperature. It is best to use a clearly marked, easy to read thermometer with a mercury ball that is set low enough to measure the temperature of the boiling syrup, but does not touch the bottom of the pan.

To use a candy thermometer, be sure it is at room temperature before putting it into the hot syrup. Lower the thermometer gradually into the candy mixture AFTER the sugar is dissolved and the syrup has begun to boil.

The cold-water test is an alternative to a candy thermometer. Many cooks still rely upon this test, although it is not as accurate as a candy thermometer (hard ball/soft ball).

 

Temperature Tests For Candy

 

Temperature of Syrup     Test                    Description of Syrup When  Dropped Into Very Cold Water                                                                    

234° to 240 °                 Soft Ball              Forms a soft ball that flattens on removal from water                                                              

244° to 248°                  Firm Ball             Forms a firm ball that does not flatten on removal from water

250° to 266°                  Hard Ball             Forms a hard ball that, on removal from water remains hard enough to hold its shape yet pliable

270° to 290°                 Soft Crack            Separates into threads that are hard, but not brittle, when removed from water

300° to 310°                 Hard Crack           Separates into threads that are hard and very brittle

To water-test, use very cold, but NOT ice, water. Use a clean cup, spoon, and fresh water for each test. Remove the pan from the heat and drop a little of the hot mixture into the water. Use your fingers to gather the drops into a ball and feel its consistency. If the candy is not yet ready, immediately return the pan to the heat. 

Avoid making candy on damp or rainy days. High humidity is the candy maker’s enemy. If for any reason you cannot postpone a candy making session, cook the candy 1 or 2 degrees higher on the thermometer than indicated in the recipe.

Altitude also affects candy making. Temperatures given in recipes are typically for sea level. At high altitudes the candy must be cooked about 2 degrees higher. 

Be patient and always allow sufficient time. Most candy does take time to make, and there is no way to rush the cooking with disaster. 

"Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

 

Tiny New York Kitchen’s Favorite Vintage Candy Bar

July 3, 2013

clark bar

The Origins Of Easter Symbols

March 31, 2013

Easter TraditionsThe Origins Of Easter Symbols

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, but is also associated with popular symbols such as eggs, candy, bunnies and food. Here is a look at the origins of these beloved symbols.

The Easter Lily

The white blossoms of the lily symbolizes the purity of Jesus. The trumpet-shaped flower that blooms in the spring also symbolizes new life and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. People use the flower to celebrate and enjoy the very essence of the Easter season.

Hot Cross Buns

A favorite during spring and the Easter season. Hot cross buns are a sweet, yeast leavened, spiced roll made with currants or raisins. They have long been a symbol of Good Friday. Each bun has an icing cross on top to signify the crucifixion.

The Butterfly

The butterfly’s unique life cycle is meant to symbolize the life of Jesus Christ. The first stage, the caterpillar, stands for his life on Earth. The cocoon stage portrays the crucifixion and the burial of Jesus. The final stage, the colorful butterfly, represents Jesus rising from the dead and the resurrection.

Easter Baskets

In Germany, children made nests in which the “Osterhase” or Easter Bunny could lay his colored eggs. The nests were replaced with baskets once the tradition was brought to the United States and the Easter contents were expanded to include candy and other treats.

Easter Ham

In the United States ham has become a traditional Easter dish. In the early days, meat was slaughtered in the fall. There was no refrigeration so the fresh pork that wasn’t consumed during the winter was cured for spring. This made ham a natural choice for the celebratory Easter dinner.

Easter Egg Hunts & Rolls

The first official White House egg roll took place in 1878 under the presidency of Rutherford Hayes. Egg hunts and rolls have no religious connection, but some will point out that the roll is a symbolic act for the removal of the stone blocking Jesus’ tomb.

Easter Parade

The origin of Easter parades dates back to the mid-1800’s in New York City. The wealthy used Easter as an opportunity to show off their new spring wardrobe by walking up and down Fifth Avenue after church. Soon the less fortunate started showing up to watch the spectacle and a tradition was born.

Easter Candy

Second only to Halloween in candy sales, Easter is a holiday for children and adults with a serious sweet tooth. Chocolate eggs and candy shaped like bunnies or eggs are extremely popular. Also, jelly beans are often associated with the holiday due to their egg-like shape.

The Egg

Easter eggs are likely linked to pagan traditions, but eggs have long been used to celebrate spring and the idea of renewal. It’s not unusual that in almost all ancient cultures, eggs are held as a symbol of life. At the Passover Seder, a hardboiled egg dipped in salt water symbolizes both new life and the Passover sacrifice offered at the Temple of Jerusalem.

The Easter Bunny

The cute furry creature is certainly not mentioned in the Bible, but has nonetheless become the most well-known symbol for the spring holiday. The Easter Bunny’s origins are not entirely known, but some stories date his arrival in the United States back to the 1700’s when German immigrants brought their tradition of an egg laying hare called “Osterhase” to the country. Much like children leave cookies for Santa, boys and girls leave carrots out for the Easter Bunny in case he got tired from hopping around all night.

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