Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome
Dessert makes the perfect finishing touch to a special event. Hosts and hostesses frequently fret over which foods to serve at their parties, and that includes dessert.
But hosts won't need a professional pastry chef to serve some imaginative and impressive desserts. In fact, it's easy for even novice foodies to make their own delicious desserts.
* Invest in a star decorator's tip and pastry bag. There's no limit to what you can do with a simple pastry bag, icing and a decorative tip. Instead of slathering frosting on cupcakes, use the tip to pipe on individual stars or swirls so the cupcakes look dressed up. The same concept can be applied when baking a cake in a molded pan-and-pipe on the frosting to create the design. You can also use it to add a dab of homemade whipped cream to a serving plate aside a slice of pie. Get creative with your pastry tip and explore different possibilities.
* Make garnish sauces. Professional chefs understand that many people eat with their eyes. That means guests may be more inclined to "ooh and ahh" over desserts if they are presented in a special way. Take a cue from restaurants and garnish the plate prior to adding the dessert. Create simple sauces from cooked-down strawberries or raspberries with sugar and water. Or look to premade syrups. Grab that bottle of chocolate sauce and create a design on a dish and then place the dessert on top.
* Use leaves or flowers. In addition to sauces on the plate, you may want to add a few mint leaves or an edible flower to cleanse the palate. This adds a touch of class to the presentation and makes guests feel special.
* Create individual servings. A dessert served in an individual ramekin or tin can be a nice presentation in itself. Plus, guests may feel like you individually created each dessert with them in mind. Individual servings look and serve well, rather than having a larger dessert demolished by slices or scoops.
* Go for the wow factor. Certain desserts lend themselves to dramatic display. Creme brule or flambe desserts will catch attention. Simply lighting a meringue-topped pudding on fire for a few minutes also can create a memorable moment. Use a good-quality liqueur for fire-enhanced desserts, so the alcohol can burn off quickly and evenly.
* Embrace the use of fondant or gum paste. These pastry art materials are frequently used by professional pastry chefs. They're essentially a moldable dough made out of sugar. Fondant can be rolled to cover cakes, cut to turn into intricate shapes or hand-molded to be turned into figurines or other edible pieces. Just about any dessert can be enhanced with a fondant trinket. Make a flower or a heart out of fondant and lay it aside a slice of cake. Give in to a child's sense of whimsy by molding edible cartoon characters for them to enjoy at a birthday party. Fondant-covered petit fours may be delicious and eye-catching.
* Use cookie cutters to create different shapes. Instead of a standard layer cake, use cookie cutters to cut out cake pieces and then layer them with frosting in between. Think about baking a pie and cutting out a piece of the pre-baked top crust with a cookie cutter that gives a clue to the filling inside (i.e., an apple cutout for an apple pie). Place on top of the crust before baking.
Creating special desserts doesn't require much effort or any specialized skills.
As soon-to-be graduates prepare for prom and their trip down the auditorium aisle to receive their diplomas, many believe a glowing tan is a must-have accessory.
However, the method by which that tan is achieved could mean the difference between bronze skin and a life-threatening disease.
The public is aware that sunburns can be particularly dangerous, but scientific evidence increasingly suggests there's no such thing as a safe tan -- particularly if that tan comes by way of baking in the sun or on a tanning bed.
The World Health Organization's cancer division listed tanning beds as definitive cancer-causers. Research indicates that the risk for melanoma, the most common form of skin cancer, rises as much as 75 percent in people who were frequent tanners in their teenage years and early twenties.
The risk from tanning beds is so great that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had an open hearing to figure out stricter tanning bed regulations and more obvious warning labels on the devices.
For those who still want to have tanned skin but not experience the risk associated with tanning beds or UV exposure, spray tans or sunless tanning creams are good options. These products contain a substance called dihydroxyacetone (DHA).
The Mayo Clinic says that DHA reacts with dead cells in the outermost layer of the skin. This temporarily darkens the skin's appearance. While the coloring doesn't wash off, it will gradually fade as the dead skin cells slough off within a few days.
Some of these products also contain coloring pigments to help even out the tan and make it visible before the DHA reaches maximum effect. These products are generally safe for most of the body but need to be avoided around mucous membranes and the eyes.
While most of the sunless tanning products are safe, it is not adviseable to take sunless tanning pills. These pills contain a color additive that can turn the skin orange when taken in large quantities. They also may cause liver damage and the formation of crystals in the retina of the eye.
For those considering the sunless tanning route, there are some ways to get an even-looking tan.
* Exfoliate the body with a wash cloth to remove excess dead skin cells that may darken more in contrast to other parts of the skin.
* Use a light touch and go sparingly with the product. For hard-to-reach areas of the body, have someone help you apply it. Many people like professional spray tans at salons because the application method tends to be more even than with lotions and creams.
* Wash hands after applying the product so your palms don't turn color, and pay special attention to your fingernails. Then use a cosmetic sponge or cotton ball to apply the tanner to the top of each hand.
* Use sunblock on the body even while using a self-tanner. These lotions generally don't contain sunscreens, and the tan will provide no protection at all.
* Make sure to wait until the tanner dries completely before you get dressed. Otherwise you can be left with stained clothing.
Graduates who want a sun-kissed look for parties and other end-of-school events should consider sunless tanners instead of sunbathing or tanning beds.
Fresh salmon is the answer for time pressed moms and can help address the growing obesity issue in children, says Holly Clegg, recognized author, chef, and working mother.
"Working moms are facing huge challenges getting healthy food quickly on the table for their families," says Clegg. "We know that fresh salmon itself can multi-task: it's a super health food, it's fast, and you can make more than one meal at once.
"Fresh salmon from Maine and Atlantic Canada is one way to attack the myth that fast means unhealthy," says Clegg. "It's high in protein and it contains key vitamins and minerals, so you know it's a great food to serve your family. And with very little planning you can cook one meal and make three more out of it, minimizing mom's time in the kitchen."
Clegg adds that salmon is a natural source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which recent studies have shown to be critical for vision and improved brain development in infants. Pregnant women, nursing moms, as well as developing children, will benefit from salmon's "brain food" qualities.
Clegg, known as the "Queen of Quick" and author of a best-selling cookbook series, takes every opportunity to show moms, who are often in charge of meal planning and preparation, how to boost their families' menu with what she called the new 'super fast food.' Her recipes are simple to prepare and use everyday ingredients. Using a basic salmon recipe for one meal, Clegg shows moms that by cooking extra they can prepare three other unique and delicious recipes like salmon salad, bisque, and sliders.
Clegg is eager to help as child obesity rates continue to rise. With parents working more hours, it leaves them with less time to shop for healthy food options and to prepare healthy meals. Time-pressed families are relying more on fast food and packaged food, which tend to be high in fat and calories, just to get food on the table quickly, she says.
"Working moms are under so much pressure from so many sources -- if we can provide them with ways to juggle all those demands and know they are keeping their family healthy, then hopefully we're taking some of that pressure off," says Clegg.
"The great thing about fresh salmon is how easy it is to get it fresh," says Clegg. "If you buy salmon from Maine and Atlantic Canada you know it was literally swimming just a couple of days earlier, and that's hard to beat."
Poteau Ok - OK Freewheels announced in February that Poteau would be the final overnight stop for the Annual 500 mile race across Oklahoma on June 12, 2015.
The 2015 Tour will start June 7 and conclude June 13. This year instead of the usual south-to-north route, OK Freewheel participants will be treated to a west-to east route across the southern portion of Oklahoma.
On June 7 riders will start a weeklong event in Hollis Oklahoma in the southwestern corner of the state.
Over 700 riders will continue the route through Frederick, Elgin, Lindsay, Ada, and McAlester and for the final night of the tour in Poteau before the final destination in Fort Smith Arkansas on June 13.
Riders will stay the night in and around the Donald W. Reynolds Center.
DWRCC will host the awards and entertainment part of the race in the outdoor theatre.
Poteau Chamber met with organizer/director of Ok Freewheels Trevor Steward for the first time in January. "We begin the paper work immediately to see if we would get approval for a host city. Events such as this bring lots of revenue to the businesses. Talking with my other counterparts in the state which have been host; stated our city would not be the same.
The impact of revenue will be overwhelming.
Poteau Chamber and Donald W Reynolds Center is very pleased that our efforts have paid off in more ways than one getting to support an event with such a great impact economically," states Karen Wages CEO Poteau Chamber/Director Donald W Reynolds Center.
Poteau Chamber formed a committee to prepare and work on details for the event.
The committee chairman Mike Carter has previous experience with this type race as host city in Fredrick Oklahoma a few years ago.
Mike Carter and group ask help from businesses to set up tents in the DWRCC parking lot as welcoming stations.
The committee is also seeking vendors and non-profits that want to sell items to purchase such as trinkets, or food related. "We need to bring out all the signs, bells and whistles during this two -day event in Poteau. I have experienced firsthand the positive impact the group has on the city. We need a huge support presents of tents and people in the DWRCC parking lot and along Broadway, stated Carter/ Event Committee Chairman.
The Committee is also looking for businesses or groups that will participate in a bicycle decorating contest to be placed in front of the business or on site at DWRCC with signage displaying the business/group name. "We hope to get businesses, civic groups, ball teams and clubs on board for this contest.
The winners will be judged by a group of the visiting cyclist and awarded a cash prize of $100 for best creation," states Brooke Evans decorating committee leader.
Central National Bank will be serving Hamburgers with a full Donald W Reynolds Center Concession all day Friday.
The Kiwanis will be serving pancakes on June 13 and will also be open to the public. Other committee organizers include Connie Horton, Brandy Singer, John Ford, Cheryl Craig, Monte Shockley, Shannon delaCruz, Doug Hall and Karen Wages.
To register your club, business or organization as a vendor or participant in contest contact:
Shannon delaCruz 918-647-9178. Deadline June 1, 2015.
Event time: June 12, 2015 begins at 9:00.
Vendors begin setup at 8:00 a.m.
Cyclist will arrive all day with vendors' setup until 6:00 p.m.
The Donald W Reynolds Center is a great place to make your wedding dreams come true.
As Southeastern Oklahoma's most modern and versatile special event facility with 36,00 square feet available.
The DWRCC can help with your wedding budget.
DWRCC can connect your wedding party with a host of Wedding Planners, Caterers, Beverage Services, Photographers, DJ's and Lighting Companies.
Contact them today at 918-647-4204 or 918 647-9178.
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 2/3 cup brown sugar
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon
1. Mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, and set aside.
2. In a large bowl or mixer, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. About 3-5 minutes.
3. Reduce speed and beat in eggs, one at a time. Then pour in vanilla extract.
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is completely incorporated.
5. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
6. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until chilled.
7. In a small bowl, combine coating ingredients and toss together. Set aside.
8. Preheat oven to 400º F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
9. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop cookie dough out into balls and roll each one in sugar coating mixture.
10. Transfer to lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining cookies.
11. Place in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are puffed up and golden.
12. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-7 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Recipe from www.12tomatoes.com
Two favorite comfort foods come together in this super easy, one-pot dish that the whole family will go crazy for.
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 onion, diced
• 8 ounces ground beef
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
• 3/4 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 3/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 10 ounces uncooked elbows pasta
• 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
• Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and ground beef, and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.
• Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13-15 minutes.
• Remove from heat. Top with cheese and cover until melted, about 2 minutes.
• Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
1 box of elbow macaroni -cooked according to the package directions
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup AP flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
while the pasta is cooking, heat a skillet over med. heat
add the butter, and allow to melt
stir in the flour to make a roux
whisk in the milk, bring to boil stirring until it thickens
Stir in the pizza sauce, and salt to taste
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses
Add the drained macaroni and toss to evenly coat
Top with the pepperoni slices, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese
Broil until the top begins to brown
Velveeta is, no doubt, a cult classic, but what do we actually know about this beloved cheese?
In 1928 Velveeta was introduced to the masses by Kraft Foods, and in the 1930s it became the first cheese product to merit the American Medical Association's seal of approval.
Although today its most popular use is, of course, to make macaroni and cheese, it was first introduced as a "sauce" to be served over toasted sandwiches of peanut butter and pickles.
To develop a more mainstream appeal, in 1953 Velveeta was reformulated as a cheese spread, and was designed to have a taste that replicated American cheese with a more "velvety" texture, hence the name.
Through the years this processed cheese product, which Kraft refers to as a "fun, family-friendly" food, has shown its versatility in recipes like queso dip, grilled cheese sandwiches, cheesy broccoli soup, and even Velveeta fudge.
It has also gained a major fan following since the '20s. Today, there are several websites and Facebook pages dedicated to Velveeta's cheesy goodness and nostalgic quality.
Here is what you will need to make the best Ding Dong Cake
1 box devils food cake mix--Prepared and baked in 2 round cake pans as directed on box.
8 oz. cream cheese softened
3 c powdered sugar
1 stick butter softened
8 oz. cool whip
1 tub milk chocolate icing
After cake is completely cooled split into layers
Then add filling:
Mix and cream the butter and cream cheese.
Add powdered sugar and fold in cool whip.
Spread filling on each layer - do not spread filling all the way to the edge of the cake, the weight of the cake will press it out to the edge once you are finished, this keeps the filling from mixing with the icing.
left over filling mix it with the icing.
Then ice entire cake with the chocolate icing.
Refrigerate any left-overs.