Monday, May 4, 2015

How To Deseed Berries

I looked at small kitchen appliances to make the job of deseeding berries easier. You can see my review of the Kitchen Aid juicer here and Kitchen Aid strainer here. I'm just going to tell you this. There really is no "easy" way to deseed berries. But my tips will make the task a little easier. 

Put your berries in a pot, and cook over medium high heat. Continually mashing, to loosen the seeds. I really like this pampered chef nylon potato masher. It provides maximum surface area, for mashing. I let the berries cook, until I can just see a heat bubble form. Just enough to get the berries warm.

Then scrape the berries into a fine mesh strainer. Get the finest wire mesh strainer that you can find. They tend to be expensive, but sometimes you can pick them up for around $7 at discount stores like TJ Maxx.

Having a quality rubber scraper will save you washing pans, between strains. This is a pampered chef large scraper, which I highly recommend. As you can see, there are no seeds in the pan. 

Your first strain, will be the most work. Just mash and press the berries through the strainer, using a spoon, or scraper.

Making sure to scrape the puree, from the bottom of the strainer.

Then wash the strainer, with a brush, if you have one.

Set up a second pan, with the clean strainer.

This time it is important that you do not press the puree with the scraper. Instead, just tap the strainer against the pan, until the puree has passed through.

Those are the seeds from the second pass. Not bad. We are almost done!

Set up the pan and strainer again.

And tap the puree through the strainer. There are just a few seeds left at this point. I'd call that done!

Once the berries are strained, I measure the puree into 1 cup portions. Then freeze.

You should get 1/2 cup puree per 6 ounces of berries.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Kitchen Aid Juicer and Sauce Attachment Review

I purchased the Kitchen Aid Juicer and Sauce Attachment, for my mixer; for the sole purpose of deseeding raspberries. I wanted something that was quick, efficient, and required minimal effort, on my part.

This is a slow juicer, also called a masticating juicer. It chops and grinds food, at a slow pace. This type of juicer will extract the most juice. It works best on fibrous foods, vs citrus.

I am pleased with the amount of juice. I am also pleased with the waste coming out of the feed. It is dry and compact. Just as you would expect from a slow juicer. Minimal waste. 

I was disappointed with the amount of seeds that went into the juice. I had to strain two or three times, using a fine mesh strainer. All in all, the use of the juicer, made the process of deseeding berries much faster. 

Let me note, that after processing berries, using this juicer, I called Kitchen Aid to see what their recommendations, for deseeding berries was. They recommended the Kitchen Aid Fruit and Vegetable Strainer. You can see my review here.  Looking back, this did a much better job, of juicing, than the strainer. 

Some pros and cons. Lets start with the cons: No color choices. Expensive. Bulky to store. Could use a smaller berry screen. Lots of parts to clean. The pros: Quality product. Efficient. Minimal waste.

I always try to get an attachment, thinking I will save on storage space. That is not the case here. You are better off purchasing a stand alone masticating juicer. This item was returned to the store.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Kitchen Aid Fruit and Vegetable Strainer Attachment

Kitchen Aid Juicer and Saucer Attachment 

Kitchen Aid Fruit and Vegetable Strainer Attachment Review

Before purchasing the Kitchen Aid fruit and vegetable strainer; I researched blogs, youtube, and talked with a representative at Kitchen Aid. I felt confident that this attachment, to my mixer, was going to make the job of deseeding berries a cinch.  

This is the set up. To use the strainer attachment, you have to have the grinder attachment, also. The grinder acts as the housing, to which the strainer attaches. The mixing bowl catches the liquid, but you will need a second container to catch the pulp. 

Right away I knew there was a problem! I was not satisfied with the amount of seeds going into the liquid. So, I reached for a strainer to catch them.

I was more disappointed with the amount of pulp being wasted.

I gathered up the pulp and mashed it through a fine mesh strainer.

To reclaim some juice!

I aborted using the Kitchen Aid strainer, after two packages of raspberries. I feel this is not the attachment to deseed berries. I'm sure it is fine for other fruits and vegetables, with larger seeds; but that is not why I purchased it. 

I hope this review will be helpful to you. I will be posting another review for the Kitchen Aid juicer attachment shortly. Then I will wrap up the reviews with a quick and efficient way to deseed berries.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How to Cut Spaghetti Squash

I want to show you the safe way to cut through spaghetti squash.

Use a serrated knife to cut the ends. Cut just enough to give a straight edge, so you can work with it, safely.

Some will tell you to take a large knife, and cut down the center of the squash. Have you ever tried that?! It is very difficult, and you don't have a secure knife. This puts you at risk of injury. Do not do it like this!!!

Instead, use a paring knife, and circle your way around the squash.

There are two cutting lines, in this photo. I wanted to point out the curved line is using the large knife. See how you start to lose control of the cut. It goes the way it wants to. Looking at the line, using the paring knife, you can see the cut is straight.

Once the squash is halved, use a spoon to scoop out the innards. The seeds can be roasted, the same as pumpkin seeds.

Here is the comparison: The top photo, I used the paring knife and got a uniform cut. The bottom photo, I used a serrated knife, but was having a tough time cutting, so I enlisted the help of my santoku knife. It was a difficult task, and the end result is a sloppy, uneven cut.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Jarrene's Hot Fudge Sauce

I'm sitting here, trying to think what I am going to write about my Mother-in-law, Jarrene, when I stumbled upon this black and white photo. I really love black and white photos. There is a certain nostalgia, found in them. Isn't this photo the most darling?! Look at that car! And, that dress! I wouldn't be surprised if she made, the dress, herself. It certainly looks like she is showing it off. One of the best gifts my Mother-in-law gave me, besides this recipe, was to teach me an easy way to sew in a zipper. That lesson has come in handy!

Besides sewing, my Mother-in-law is an exceptional cook. She is always testing new recipes. I'm not sure when she found his Hot Fudge Sauce recipe, but she had it perfected, when I met her, back in 1988. The recipe comes from her treasured cookbook, The Joy of Cooking. (Probably 1975 edition).

* I am going to say this is an adaptation of the recipe, because we are using different cooking techniques, and we are not using vanilla extract.

To give you some idea of how popular this family recipe is. It is August the 9th, and so far, we've had this recipe at least 8 times, this year! It never gets old.

The recipe starts with melting 2 ounces, of your favorite brand of unsweetened chocolate, over a double boiler. We did that, for the correctness of the recipe, but you can melt it, on low heat, directly in the sauce pan, and save washing an extra bowl.

Other options include:

* Unsweetened cocoa powder:  3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil = 1 ounce. You would need to double this measurement to get the two ounces.

* Nestle Choco Bake:  Each packet is 1 ounce. You would need two packets. This is my Mother-in-law's choice. The choco bake is hard to find, though. We order through

Once you've melted the chocolate; add to the sauce pan: butter, water, sugar and corn syrup.

* An alternative to using corn syrup would be to use honey.

Stir until sugar dissolves.

Bring the mixture to a boil, over high heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, cut the heat back  to medium high. At this point, it is critical to keep an eye on the pot; watching for a boil over. Let the mixture boil for 5 - 8 minutes.

5 minutes:  A smooth sauce, that doesn't harden.

6 - 7 minutes: A sticky sauce, that hardens like softened taffy.

8 minutes: A hard sauce, that becomes stiff like hard taffy.

We aim for the softened taffy consistency. Pull it off the heat right between the 6 - 7 minute mark.

Let the burner cool a bit, then you can return the pan, to keep the sauce warm. We do a serve yourself approach, and let people spoon the sauce, directly out of the pan. You'll want to make the sauce just prior to serving the ice cream, as it crystallizes when it cools.

Try to drizzle the sauce, in small streams.

Because, as it hardens, you will have one large glob to deal with, if you don't stream the sauce.

This is Hot Fudge Sauce nirvana. The sauce came together nicely, and is spooned in small streams; making it perfectly easy to eat.

The sauce has a slight pull to it.


2 Ounces unsweetened chocolate squares - or- 6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder + 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil - or - 2 (1 ounce) Packets Nestle Choco Bake
1 Tablespoon butter
1/3 Cup boiling water
1 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons corn syrup - or - 2 Tablespoons honey

Melt chocolate in a sauce pan. Add butter, water, sugar and corn syrup. Cook mixture over medium high heat, until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high heat. Let sauce simmer, rigorously, but not furiously. Boil for 5 minutes, for a soft sauce. 6-7 minutes, for a softened taffy sauce. 8 minutes for a hard taffy sauce. Remove pan from heat. Let the burner cool a bit, then return sauce pan. Serve immediately. Serves 8-10


If you are lucky, you may have a little sauce left over. It will look like a crystallized mess. Your instinct will be to throw it out. Don't do that. We can bring it back to life.

Start by spooning the sauce into a microwaveable bowl. Add just a bit of water, to loosen the sauce. Microwave in 20 second intervals.

Stirring, until the mixture has become smooth again.

This is the reheated sauce. It is just as good as the fresh made version.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Fat Bastard

The Fat Bastard is a sausage, egg and cheese croissant sandwich smothered in sausage gravy. Talk about a mouthful! If you eat this for breakfast, chances are you won't eat anything else the rest of the day.

The recipe starts out with Sausage Gravy.

A toasted croissant, sausage patty, cheddar cheese and 1 egg, cooked any style.

To plate; place the bottom half of the toasted croissant on a plate. Top with the sausage patty.

Add cheddar cheese and an egg.

Put the lid on the sandwich.

Cover with gravy!

Dig in!


1 Recipe (see Sausage Gravy)
4 Croissants, cut in half
4 Teaspoons butter, for croissants
4 (2 ounce) Sausage patties
4 Ounces cheddar cheese, divided
4 Eggs, cooked to order
Butter and olive oil for frying eggs

Prepare sausage gravy as directed. Heat a large frying pan, or a griddle, over medium-high heat. Toast croissants; set aside. Cook sausage patties until browned. Add a little butter or olive oil to pan fry eggs, as desired. To plate: Place the bottom half of the croissant on a plate. Top with a sausage patty, then cheddar cheese and egg. Place the top half of croissant to form a sandwich. Cover sandwich with hot sausage gravy. Serves 4.