The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

On The Table

September 12, 2012

Cheryle Finley: Welcome to the future of cooking

JOPLIN, Mo. — I often think of my Grandma Evans and wonder what she would think about the world if she were to visit today.

Some 42 years after her passing, I’m sure she would be especially fond of microwave ovens. I also wonder what gadgets my 7-year-old grandson, Atlas, will enjoy in his lifetime that I am not even able to imagine in my wildest dreams.

According to aol.com, the future is now when it comes to forward thinking in the kitchen. Here are a few of the new inventions. You may have already seen some of these on store shelves but they are new to me.

Toasted wrap: This is a flat mat for toasting bread that rolls up for easy storage. Only trouble is it’s going to take some time to brown the bread one side at a time.

Portable toaster: Sticking with making toast, this looks like a little spatula that you hold on the bread and it browns it right up. Again, one side at a time while you are holding it in your hand.

Cutting board with scale: Chop your food then scoot it over to the scale for weighing. Great if you need a pound of chopped celery.

Heating spoon: Warm up that room temperature coffee and tea with a dip of this little spoon. Might be handy if no microwave is available.

Qumi: This is a domed cooking device that can heat, fry and steam your food. It can only be controlled by your cellphone. I’m lucky to answer my cellphone let alone cook dinner with it.

Milkmaid: Pour your milk out of the carton into the Milkmaid and she will send an alert to your iPad when your milk is on the verge of spoiling. No more watching those little dates on the carton or giving the milk a big sniff to see if it’s drinkable, if you have an iPad.

Personally, I’m not sure these inventions would make my life any better. I’m happy with my microwave and toaster and don’t plan at this stage in life on changing too much.

Last Friday, my daughter, Sarah, and I were hosts for a girl’s night out for some family and friends. We had a surprise menu dinner, assigning everyone an ingredient to bring when they called to RSVP. One brought baby spinach, one brought a bottle of dressing, one brought noodles, one brought angel food cake, etc. We put everything together and enjoyed beef and noodles, chicken and rice, a couple of salads, green beans, carrot mouse and dessert. Everyone had been told we would have a “fun activity” after dinner. Put in groups of four, each team was given a watermelon and asked to carve a design. We ended up with a flower, hearts, a mouth with teeth and something that was maybe a shark with a tongue. Lots of laughs and I hope everyone had as much fun as I did. Next time, we may use Nikki Brown’s idea of everyone bringing a surprise ingredient of their choice then everyone getting together in the kitchen to see what we can come up with for dinner.

My mother, Wilma Evans, recently attended a dinner play at the New Theater in Kansas City and was so taken with the carrot mousse, she asked Tracy Asbell if she had any idea as to how she could get the recipe. Well, Tracy came through with flying colors and I’m happy to share the recipe today. Mom said when she first saw this dish she thought it was sweet potatoes, and she guarantees that even those who don’t like carrots will be a fan of this dish. I fixed it for our surprise menu dinner group and Mom said it wasn’t as sweet as she remembered. Could be operator error on my part or maybe it needs a little more sugar. Five ounces of flour will be 15 tablespoons. This mousse fills a 9x13-inch baking dish, so you may want to cut the recipe in two.

From the “Fix It and Forget It” cookbook comes the pot roast recipe. My mother makes the best pot roast. Her secret ingredient? Kitchen bouquet. So, I know this is a good recipe because that’s one of the ingredients in this recipe. Adds that brown gravy richness. For dessert, the “Chocolate Cake Doctor” cookbook supplies the chocolate Hello Dollies. These bars have a little bit of everything to offer and don’t disappoint. Have a wonderful week and happy eating!

Carrot mousse

5 pounds carrots

1 green onion, sliced

5 ounces margarine, melted

5 ounces flour

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 egg

3/4 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Peel and slice carrots. Place in a pot and add water to cover. Boil until very tender. Drain. Place carrots in mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients except nutmeg; mix well. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with oil. Pour mousse into pan then sprinkle with nutmeg. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Yields 16 servings.

Pot roast with gravy and vegetables

3 to 4 pound bottom round, rump or arm roast

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup cold water

1 teaspoon kitchen bouquet

1 garlic clove, minced

2 medium onions, cut in wedges

5 medium potatoes, cubed

3 carrots, quartered

1 green pepper, sliced

Place roast in slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Make a paste of the flour and cold water. Stir in kitchen bouquet then spread over roast. Add vegetables; cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Chocolate Hello Dollies

1 devil’s food cake mix with pudding

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces

1 cup butterscotch chips

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Place cake mix and butter in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the cake mix with two knives or a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle this mixture over the bottom of an ungreased 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan. Press mixture into the pan to form a crust. Sprinkle the crust evenly with both chips, coconut and nuts. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top. Bake at 350 degrees until bars are lightly browned and bubbly all over, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on rack for 30 minutes. Yields 48 bars.

 

Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.

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