Rhubarb Nut Bread

I came across one of my grandmother’s recipes. It is Rhubarb Nut Bread. It is so good. We use to have rhubarb plants in the backyard and she always made this bread once the rhubarb was ready to be picked. Here it is:

1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup liquid shortening (oil)
1 egg
1 cup sour milk
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup diced, fresh rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Topping

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter

Stir ingredients together in order given.
Pour into 2 well greased and floured loaf pans.
Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.

This stuff is really good!

Considering transitioning from nonstick cookware to stainless or cast iron

cookwareI have been using nonstick cookware because that is what my parents used. My mom always said it was the easiest to use for cooking.

Because I had a limited budget in the past and I was not really that big into cooking, I just took it for granted that nonstick was the best way to go.

Now that I have taken cooking up as a hobby, I have been looking at other cookware but have little knowledge about what is good for the kind of stuff I cook.

I know I cook scrambled eggs and pancakes. I like to use the grill a lot for steaks. I have one of those George Foreman grills for cooking a lot of meats. Oh yeah, I have an aluminum skillet that I use for meat. It does not work well and I burn everything unless I cook the meat with water in the bottom of the pan.

I have been doing some reading about different types of cookware materials. Turns out cast iron would be good for searing meats but stainless steel would be a better all around value. It can cook meat at highish heat and can be placed in the oven as long as the handle is oven-safe.

The problem I see is cost and what brand to buy. Cost is tricky because for a good cookware set it looks like it will cost a few hundred bucks. I am not against that because it is cheaper and healthier cooking my own food than eating out but it is still pricey I think for good name brands. I came across a big list of cookware brands and want to do a little more research on each companies offerings.

I have not found a list of nonstick cookware companies yet. I think the brand currently have is some generic special I bought at one of the big box stores. It was cheap. The same is true about the aluminum pan. I recall buying that at Wal-Mart. It has served its purpose. I know there have been “studies that failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s” so I was not too worried.

The only time I have worried about using the cookware I own is when the nonstick surface started flaking. That is one of the biggest pains. I have used the George Foreman grill, which has a nonstick surface, with the plastic scraper for cleaning. During cleaning, the surface has started to come off. The same is true about my skillet. With a couple skillets, the coating came off because I used the wrong turner. When I was young I used a metal turner. Even after using a plastic one, I still had issues with flaking — not to mention I did dumb things like leaving the plastic spatula in the pan while it was on. Genius I know.

A few thoughts about cooking fish

fish cooking
Photo by lmnop88a via Flickr | CC-BY

Fish is one of those meats I just have a hard time preparing, and I’m not a big fan of how it tastes but I still make it because it is good for me. Although I would like to bread it and deep fry it, I should say that I prepare it with a few spices and bake rather than go the deep fry route.

I baked a couple pieces of cod yesterday. I think I probably overcooked it but I almost never under cook any meat, except steak but that is by choice, just because I leave it cooking too long.

I have never used a meat thermometer. I have been looking at them and they do not seem too expensive after searching for them on Amazon.

According to various Internet sources, fish should be cooked until 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The old saying cook fish until it flakes easily with a fork or until it is opaque is still valid. That’s the method I have used.

I usually thaw the fish out before I cook it. I have read that there is no need to do that. All that has to be done is pull the fish out of the freezer, rinse off the ice, pat it dry, rub a little olive oil or marinade, season, and cook. I may try that because I don’t like thawing fish. In all honesty, I buy it and eat it but I would much rather cook chicken or turkey.

Totally yummy steaks!!!

I like to grill my steaks in the summer.

There is something so good about a charbroiled steak on an open flame. Because I live in the rust belt, grilling is only an option during the summer.

Grilling is what I have been doing lately. I have been thinking about getting some cast iron cookware to be able to sear steaks in the winter.

I have broiled steaks before, and that is pretty good.

My research indicates there is a lot of cookware brands that make cast iron skillets, according to this site.

I have yet to decide if I should get a skillet or a dutch oven. I think a dutch oven would be pretty cool to have. I would get a cast iron one but I think it would work on the stove in place of the skillet.

The big drawback is the extra height. That might make flipping steaks tough using tongs. I know I should not use a fork but I sometimes use one on the grill just because it is easier to bring forks along than tongs.

Guess I am not a huge foodie. Oh well. I am happy with how my steaks turn out so I am not going to worry about it.

How I grill my steaks

I like New York strip steaks and like to cook them medium.

Before I cook them, I get the grill going. I use to use one of those charcoal cans.

Before I used the charcoal can, I use to pile the coals into a pyramid and let them get roasting.

While the grill is warming up, I take the meat from the package and season it with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.

I cook them until they get to 140 degrees F, which is medium done.

The last couple times I have cooked mushrooms with the steaks and that has turned out really well.