Lately I have been going back to some down-home cooking, Frying. In the South if you are not sure how to cook something, well just batter it, then Fry! Hey don’t knock it until you try it! Frying food is fun and simple, not easy, easy methods of cooking I feel are baking and boiling set or reach temperature set the timer come back when the alarm goes off! Now that is easy! Frying can be great to share with you kids, yes your kids! With your little one during prep, the older kids can work with you at stove top! When you say fried some think or say O-No to much Fat! That is a yes and not statement, yes one use fat to cook, no if done properly the fired items wont absorb much oil (fat)! Here are three tips to help you keep the oil level in Read More…
Construction Zone, My life!!
Tonight my 1st night video blog in many Moons! This life has been is forever will be a construction zone. Until is it Done! Check out the video let me know what you think Curtis G Aikens Sr. Chef, Www.curtisaikens.net
Mushroom Soup, Peachey Pie?
Long Day I correct tomorrow! Peace enjoy Soups When I think of soup, I think of my parents…my mama, because of the great ritual involved in the preparation of her soups, and my dad, because soup was absolutely the only food he would accept as a onedish meal. Mind you, he did have to have cornbread or crackers, but he didn’t require a salad or side dish or even a dessert, for that matter. That’s because Mama’s soup and stews were, and still are, several courses in a single pot. From start to finish, Mama’s soups could contain as many as twenty different ingredients. Mama would be the first to tell you that the secret to good soup is the foundation or base, stock. She would start with the meat or bones, brown them a bit with some seasoning and maybe some herbs and onions. She’d then add water and let the base simmer an hour or so before adding the root vegetables. All of that cooked together for another hour or more, then she would add the next batch of vegetables. When we kids got home from school, the house was full of the most wonderful, warm smell, and by the time Dad came in from work, the house smelled great! She’d make up a big skillet of cornbread, and what a meal it would be! Dad’s right. You don’t need to serve anything more when you have a pot of homemade soup on the table.That’s how I rememer soup as a kid. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve discovered something else about soup. Picture this: It’s cold, last night. You’re in the Village in New York, or North Beach in San Francisco, or a favorite spot with you share with a special someone. The two of you step into a quaint cafe, sit by the window, and, shivering from the chill of the night, order a big bowl of steaming, hot soup. One bowl, two spoons. Each time the soons go into the bowl, your heads lower and your eyes meet. Who would have thought soup could be romantic. Wonder if Dad knew? Let’s make some soup! 3 Mushroom Soup This soup is excellent, but to make it really special, puree the sauteed mushrooms and onion with a handheld mixer or in a food processor or blender before adding them to the stock. 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil 10 medium white or brown mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced 4 ounces oyster mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced 2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced 1 medium onion, diced 2 cups vegetable stock (page 20) 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste In a large stockpot, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms and onion, cover and saute over medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and add the worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 minutes. Before serving, adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serves 2 to 4 Beggar’s purses 1 sheet puff pastry (cut into 4 pieces) 3 to 4 ripe peaches (or fruit of your choice) 1-tablespoon vanilla flavor 1-teaspoon cinnamon 1-cup sugar 4 pads butter Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel, then slice fruit in small pieces. Place in a mixing bowl. Add vanilla, cinnamon and sugar; mix well. Let it sit for a few minutes allowing juices to come out of fruit. Take the puff pastry and roll it out to make a bit larger not too much,
Julia Child & Me, Curtis G
Curtis Me & Julia Child I sometimes say during my live presentations that I have lived a Forrest Gump-ish life. I think of that statement and laugh out loud, because it is so true, this guy Me, from Conyers Georgia has traveled the globe and met world-famous history-making human beings. Wow… don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, because you can get it. I even have a funny meet and greet with a President in the White House. That as they say is another story, for some other day. I sometimes look back in amazement at all the people, famous people, infamous people, incredible people that have crossed my path. Or should I say I crossed their paths! Truth is, our paths met at some point. That is one of the reasons I most times say to my live audiences “I am the most blessed person on Earth” Julia Read More…
This book is dedicated to my earthly lights: my boys Curtis George Aikens, Jr., and Cole Bennett Aikens. I love you boys with everything I’ve got. My hope and prayer is that someday our family will be whole. This dedication extends to parents and children everywhere who find themselves struggling to stay a family despite divorce or separation. May the God I love walk with you and keep you safe. From: CURTIS COOKS WITH HEART AND SOUL I remember writing that dedication, quite a while ago, the boys are grown now, and I have very little interaction with the men they have become. Which is ok, they want and need to grow their lives same as I did years ago when I up and left Georgia for California. My love for those boys, now men, has grown. It is bigger and stronger than I thought possible. Being a parent the toughest job one will ever LOVE! Introduction I grew up in a little town called Conyers, Georgia, about twentytwo miles east of Atlanta. My mom is and probably always will best cook, chef and culinary guru I’ve ever known. Laura Bell (that’s Mama’s name) cooks wonderful, traditional Southern foods, soul food if you will. When I was growing up, she cooked collard greens, blackeyed peas, cornbread, fried chicken, and green beans the traditional Southern way, using animal fat. And, boy, did I love it! When I started to cook, I cooked the way my mom still does, and she cooks the way her teacher (Grandma) did, and she cooked the way her mother did, and so on down the line. I got really good at it. And got pretty big because of it, too. Back in the days when Grandma learned to cook, most African Americans worked in the fields all day, and burned off all that high calorie and high fat food. Nowadays we can’t metabolize it the same way. In the early eighties, I decided to give up eating red meat in an attempt to lose weight, but I found out it’s not just the intake of red meat that keeps weight on. I didn’t lose very much weight until I started to exercise. However, I did discover that I don’t have to have steak or ribs with every dinner, or bacon or sausage with every breakfast. This intrigued and inspired me to learn more about meatless meals. I am not antimeat or antipoultry. The only thing that I am against is hatred. In fact, every day, on my television show (and I hope you’ve seen it on the TV Food Network), I stop before the last recipe to give a hug. I strongly believe in the theory that eight hugs a day keep us going, and if you get more than eight, that’s great. Back to meatless meals. After giving up red meat, I found I didn’t miss it. Well, that’s not totally true. The one thing I craved was hamburger, and I don’t think it was because of the taste. What I missed was the tradition, or the ease, of this habit, being able to order it at fast foodjoints. During the early eighties, I didn’t know it was possible to order a veggie sandwich. Nowadays, I go into any fastfood restaurant and order a meatless veggie version of their popular burger. Feel free to do this yourself! Back when I began eating less red meat, all those wonderful grilled chicken and salad dishes that you can order these days weren’t available at drivethrough restaurants. Fortunately, I was living in California at the time, and that’s where I first started seeing ground turkey in the local markets. In no time at all, I was making turkey burgers. A decade later, after I had written my first book and signed a contract with ABCTV (to become a regular cast member of the Home show; where I gave tips on buying, using, storing and cooking produce), I decided that if I wanted to be the best produce man ever, vegetables should be the focal point of my eating. So I decided to stop eating meat: no chicken, no fish, no shellfish, no turkey, etc. I like to say that my motivation was and still is a quest for knowledge. I truly believe that the best way to write about something is to live it. If you want to write about vegetarian cooking, you should be a vegetarian. Of course, there are many categories of vegetarian. At this point, I’m not vegan or macrobiotic, but who knows, in my quest for knowledge, I may eventually become one or the other. And I’ve got to tell you; the philosophy of writing about what you know best really does work! Since becoming a vegetarian I have created literally hundreds of recipes that are fun, easy to make, healthy and hearty, and great tasting. In Curtis Cooks with Heart and Soul, I have integrated the two predominant influences on my cooking: California’s light fresh approach to cooking, and “soul,” which, in one word for me, is Mama, and all the flavor and love she brought to the table. I have simply removed the 5 meat and animal fat from the traditional dishes she taught me. I feel very confident that you’re going to enjoy my renditions of Southern favorites, as well as a few not so traditional dishes.
Maya Angelou, Blog tonight
I wrote this the day she left… I met her 1st time in an airport, later in a green room for a tv taping. Her work touches me, She inspires me. Maya Angelou Ma-ya An-ge-lou…… Speaking your Name Hearing your Beautiful Name To this Colored To this Negro To this Black To THIS AMERICAN of African Descent Speaking your Name Is as if a Cooling Summers’ Rain Maya Angelou Hearing your Name Is as if to EASY some… of OUR Pain Maya Angelou God only knows When I Who was Blessed Like So Many by Your Gifts God only when or If We can Ever not Morn The Loss of Maya Angelou Curtis G. Aikens Sr. May 28, 2014 I Love you Maya Angelou…. Take your Heavenly Place with the Angles
Ernest Hemingway & Curtis Aikens, Ghosts are Real..
Ghost, spirits, things that go bump in the night, are they real? What do you think, do you believe? I don’t Believe, I know they exist, don’t think me CRAZY, (well a little), spirits are with us! Because it was the Spirit (this is only one-story of sprites that I know 1st hand) of Ernest Hemingway, yes papa, Mr. wanderlust, the adventure seeker, the great writer, world traveler, War correspondent and yes Hero. His spirit not only inspired me to write, Hemingway’s power from beyond compelled me, it made me and still makes me, know and believe I can write I’ll share the story. Late 80’s 87 or 88, I’m living in New York, with the person I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. Wow, looking back half a life ago, it feels like yesterday. In your 20’s one hears the saying time flies, bull-shit your inner Read More…
Tips for Choosing Fresh Food!
These keys should guide you through an produce section, helping you choose the freshest sweetest fruits and vegetables available. One and more of these keys will always come into play in selecting fresh fruits or vegetables. (1) LOOK. Always look at your fresh fruit or vegetable to be sure it has good color. However, color is not always a true indication of ripeness. The main things to look for are bruises or scars. If either is present, disregard that item and choose one free from damage. Why? Let’s face it: pesticides and other chemicals are with us to stay, and in most instances, they are applied to the outside of produce. Although they can’t be washed away, they can be peeled away, but if scars or bruises are present, that pesticide on the outside may seep into the flesh of your fresh fruit item. So remember, avoid damaged produce. (2) SMELL. Don’t be afraid to follow your nose. Here is something I will never forget. Once while shopping in New York’ Hunt’s Point Market, two so-called produce experts laughed at me for smelling tomatoes. I not only got upset, I got mad. I pointed out to those guys that the boxes I did not select were bad. If they would smell they could tell. I also pointed out to the “experts” that as tomatoes ripen, they do give off a rather strong tomato aroma. Which brings another good saying about fruits: If it smells peachy, it’s going to taste peachy. Remember, as fruit ripens, not only does the sugar level rise, but also the fragrance becomes much stronger and more fruity. As for vegetables, when they pass their peak, they usually give off a slightly sour smell. (3) TOUCH. No buyer or fresh fruit wants items that are either rock hard or marshmallow soft. Most fruit, when ripe, gives just a little to slight pressure. Remember that it’s okay to pick up produce and inspect it before buying, but please do not squeeze the life out of items, especially ones that you are not going to purchase. A piece of fruit that was too hard or too soft for your liking may be just perfect for someone else. Vegetables, be they broccoli, cabbage, carrots, or whatever, should always be firm. Never buy limp vegetables. (4) SEASON. Know the season of fresh fruits and vegetables and buy what is in season. You will learn the seasons while reading this book; the buying part becomes more difficult due to ever increasing, shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables from the southern hemisphere, where the seasons are the opposite of ours. Before buying an item from a region with a reverse season, first see what that region has to offer. One easy way to tell what is in season, is to take a moment to look around your greengrocer’s store or the produce section of your supermarket and see which items are in the greatest abundance. I guess I should add a fifth key: get to know your greengrocer, who should be able to tell you anything there is to know about the produce in his or her shop. A further note: Although fresh fruits and vegetables will often keep a week in the refrigerator, it is best to use them within three days of purchasing. And in most cases, storing them in paper bags is preferable to storing in plastic ones.
What Are You Afraid Of?
Your FEAR: tonight July 15, 2018 or tomorrow if not 2nite Is it being alone? go out look at the crescent moon&star Being successful? we know it is a planet with the sun’s light reflection off A failure? I ask my sister Sue to teach me to paint Being homeless? Read More…
My 1st Children Book : ABC Soup
ABC Family and Friends Cookbook When the publisher first talked with me about writing this book, yes cool. I thought! I’ll just dig up my old recipe that I have prepared a hundred times, A is for asparagus, the 1st ingredient in the soup, B is for broccoli president Bush may not care for this vegetable but a whole lot of folks that voted for him do! Therefore Broccoli will be #2 to hit the stew. By the way I am talking about George H. Bush our 41st President right after Ronald Ragan just before Bill Clinton. Two elections later his Son George W. Bush, won a very controversial (do you know that word?) race against the setting Vice President Al Gore! Sometime I get side tracked when telling a story, but I try and not to get lost! You better be laughing? Kidding any-whoo What a fun recipe the Read More…