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September 17, 2017 |

Archive for » September 17th, 2017«

Cooking with cast iron

Known for its versatility and durability, cast iron skillets are the kitchen’s most universal tool. You can use your cast iron like any other pan you might have but with certain restrictions.

Cast iron is multipurpose in that you can use it on the stove top, as well as the oven. It can be used for frying, stews and soup, stir fry, baking, and some great blackened steaks.

The trouble with cast iron is it takes a little effort to maintain. But the effort is well worth it.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

• Seasoning: This term simply means there is a layer of lubricated residue on the surface of the skillet that flavors food while resisting adhesion, thus creating a non-stick, but flavorful, surface. It sounds gross, but it’s actually awesome.

• Do you have to season? Some pans come pre-seasoned, and it should say this on the label if purchasing new. If purchasing a pan at a garage sale or thrift store, it’s best to assume you’ll need to season it yourself especially if the surface is rusty and bumpy.

• How to season: There are many ways to season. Here is one way. First, give it a good scouring by scrubbing it with kosher salt and a damp sponge then thoroughly rinse the pan. Next, completely dry the pan in a hot oven. After its dried and cooled, poor a tablespoon of unsaturated oil (I use canola) in the skillet and rub it all over with paper towels. With fresh paper towels, remove any excess. Then, place the oiled pan upside down in a 450 degree oven and bake for an hour. Remove from the oven — making sure to use potholders — and allow to cool. Repeat the process up to five times until you achieve that shiny, classic, cast iron finish. Repeat this lengthy process whenever your skillet need to be re-seasoned, which isn’t that often if you clean it properly.

• How to clean: If seasoned well, all you’ll need to do is give your skillet a good rinse then completely dry the skillet in the oven. Do not let your skillet soak. And, please, do not put it in the dishwasher. If there are stubborn bits stuck to the skillet, heat it with kosher salt and oil, and scrub at the bits with paper towels clutched inside tongs.

While cast iron is multipurpose, it cannot be used efficiently on glass top stoves due to the inability to transfer heat. It should never be used in a microwave oven.

Cast iron can add up to 20 times the amount of iron into your food — great for people with iron deficiencies. You can cook with less oil in cast iron. The non-stick surface of a well-seasoned piece is almost as effective as the non-stick pan for use without the concerns of introducing chemicals from the coating into your food. Cooking acidic dishes such as tomatoes might cause a weird taste due to a reaction with the iron.

Why cook with cast iron? The benefit of using a cast iron pan is that it gets very hot and stays hot. Unlike thinner pans, the heat level doesn’t fluctuate in a cast iron. This makes it an ideal choice for foods that need high heat. Meats that need a sear but should be scorched, like steak, or roasts that should be browned before braising, perform beautifully in a cast iron.

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National Cheeseburger Day: The great home cooking debate

Americans on average eat three cheeseburgers a week, according to the Beef Checkoff Program. On National Cheeseburger Day, recognized annually on Sept. 18, there is no doubt many will celebrate by chowing down.

Burgers make up 20 percent of American’s in-home beef meals and about 70 percent of those burgers include cheese, according to the Beef Checkoff Program. How those burgers are made is a contentious subject in West Texas.

First, you could cook burger meat on the stove. Cast iron skillets seem to be the favored tool for indoor cooking. Matthew Merriott, a lawyer in Amarillo, said cast-iron cooking is his preferred way to prepare a burger.

“You retain more moisture and have much greater control while cooking,” Merriott wrote on Facebook.

Kendra Fletcher, a working mother of two, said a cast iron skillet is an easy way to cook burgers during the busy work week, but prefers to grill when she has the time.

For Texas Tech student Marcos Rubio, grilling gives more space to tend to other burger essentials. He said he also toasts buns on the grill, which he described as a necessary process.

Grilling heat methods is a whole other debate. Samantha Steelman said gas is easier, but it is hard to beat the flavor charcoal or wood chips can add to the meat.

Lubbockite Morgan Hyman said he uses a gas grill because it is quicker and easier than charcoal. He said there is one key to grilling a burger, no matter what method you are using.

“When grilling burgers on a grill of any type, only flip the burgers once,” Hyman advised. “Constant flipping will drain all the juices and dry the burgers out.”

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Hennes & Mauritz AB (HNNMY) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Hennes Mauritz AB (OTCMKTS:HNNMY) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday, September 7th. The brokerage currently has a $5.50 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 1.66% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “H M Hennes Mauritz AB offers fashion products with a broad and varied selection for women, men, teens and children through retail outlets mainly in Europe. The Company also sells its products via catalogues and the Internet. The women’s collection includes basics to tailored classics, sportswear, maternity clothes, accessories and shoes. The men’s collections include tailored pieces, modern basics, leisurewear accessories, underwear and shoes. The jeans denim includes traditional five-pocket jeans, trendy fashion jeans and denim models in organic cotton. HM’s cosmetics department provides a wide range of makeup, skin care and body care products. H M Hennes Mauritz AB is a subsidiary of Ramsbury Invest AB and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. “

Separately, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) raised shares of Hennes Mauritz AB from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd.

Hennes Mauritz AB (OTCMKTS:HNNMY) opened at 5.41 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $5.21 and a 200-day moving average price of $5.04. Hennes Mauritz AB has a 52 week low of $4.52 and a 52 week high of $6.02. The company has a market cap of $44.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.72 and a beta of 1.06.

Hennes Mauritz AB Company Profile

H M Hennes Mauritz AB (publ) provides clothing, accessories, footwear, and cosmetics for women, men, teenagers, children, and babies. It offers sportswear, underwear, shoes, bags, jewelry, scarves, hats, belts, beauty products, stationery, ready-to-wear, and jeans wear; hair styling, body care, and make-up accessories; and homeware accessories for the living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and children’s room.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Hennes Mauritz AB (HNNMY)

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This year’s hues are bolder than ever

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Columnist John Moore: Getting noticed by The Pioneer Woman

Well, it used to be my momma’s skillet. She gave it to me when I left home almost 40 years ago.

And there it is on page 72 of Ree Drummond’s new magazine.

If by chance, you aren’t familiar with Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), she has built a media empire that grew out of a blog she began writing in 2006. It chronicles her daily life with a husband and four children living on a large ranch in Oklahoma.

Her story is one of a metropolitan woman who married a cowboy. Her tales of adapting to her new life resonated with millions, and her world has grown to include a TV show, several books and cookbooks, and a mercantile in her hometown of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, among other things.

So, how does a guy living in East Texas wind up with a small feature in the magazine of one of the most popular women in America?

First, let me tell you about my skillet. It is nine inches in diameter and is old. How old, we don’t know. From the limited information it provides and some online research I did, this piece of cast iron likely was made by one of two companies: Wagner or Griswold.

What I know for sure is that this skillet originally came from my dad’s maternal grandmother and was used by my mom to prepare virtually every meal I ate growing up.

I can recall being just the right height so that the cooktop of my mom’s gas stove was eye level for me. My mom would put some bacon renderings in that skillet and turn on the burner. The flames would dance around the bottom of the skillet, and the grease would begin to sizzle.

My mom would then put sliced potatoes, breaded okra or whatever else was on the menu, into that piece of cast iron. I can still see that kitchen in my mind, smell the smells, and hear my mom talking to me as she cooked for us.

When I was a child, there were three things that were part of every meal. We always had fried potatoes, white gravy, and homemade biscuits. The first two were made in that skillet. The biscuits were baked on a cookie sheet in the oven.

Often at dinner or supper (there is no lunch in Arkansas) my mom would make me a fried baloney sandwich, which was blackened to perfection in that skillet.

I was always interested in learning how to cook, and my mom would show me how to make basic things. As I got older, around 11 or 12, I decided one Friday after school that I would cook dinner and clean the house for my mom before she got home.

I don’t remember what I cooked, but what I do remember is that I used an SOS Pad to remove all of what I thought was built up on that skillet. When my mom got home and I proudly showed her how clean her skillet was, that’s when I learned about how cast iron skillets are seasoned and that the buildup was supposed to be there.

I never cleaned the skillet that way again.

In spite of my misstep, my mother bequeathed me that skillet when I moved out after high school. I’ve had it with me ever since.

Back to The Pioneer Woman. My wife and I are big fans. One evening last January, we were watching her TV show, which featured her using her cast iron and bragging about how much she loved it.

At the time, I just happened to be logged on to the social media network, Twitter. So, I sent Ree Drummond a tweet, thanking her for highlighting my favorite cookware. Now, most of the time when you send a tweet to a celebrity, it’s likely that they never read it, much less respond or have someone respond to it.

But, a few months later, I received an email through my website. It was from a lady named Lauren who worked for Hearst Publications in New York City. She told me that Ree was launching a new magazine, and that my Tweet had caught someone’s eye (I have no idea if it was Ree or someone else) and asked me to expound on my love of cast iron.

I wrote a short bit, similar to the one I just shared with you in this column, and sent it to her. A short time later, she emailed again and asked for pictures. One of the skillet and one of me. She also asked about my plans for the skillet.

I wrote her back and said that my mom’s skillet, along with my now much larger collection of cast iron, will go to our grandchildren.

A couple of weeks ago, I received word that I had been selected to be included in the second issue, which is the fall edition. Other cast iron lovers were also selected. I share a page with them.

It is now available in print at several locations, including Walmart. There’s also a digital version that can be purchased through The Pioneer Woman app in the App Store online.

Needless to say, my mom is pleasantly pleased about this whole thing and is currently in the process of buying every copy she can find.

So, if you want one, you’d better hurry before my mom finds them first.

©2017 John Moore

John’s new book, “Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now,” is available on Amazon.

Email John at john@johnmoore.net.

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Plugged into African culture

THE LIFESTYLE-CONCEPT store Another Story is lightening up rainy days this month with the exotic vibes of its trendy home-decor items, fashion apparel and accessories, colourful stationery and tableware. 

The theme is “L’afrique c’est chic!” (“Africa is Chic!”) and there are more than 30 brands represented, mainly from that vast continent.

The prints and patterns found in African culture are mixed with vibrant colours to create fun looks, and with earth tones to evoke nature and the gritty challenges of travel. 

The clothing, selected to fit the Thai climate, comes from such popular brands as Delasebure, Izembatho, Okun, Reiko, Zhu and Zuri. 

Anyone looking for new accessories to mix and match with jeans or maxi dresses can check out the offerings from Beatriz, Gloriozo (Ghana), Hipanema and Macon Lesquoy. 

Eyewear created in collaboration with Izipizi will turn heads, as will fashionable sneakers from Bensimon and casual footwear from La Maison de l’espadrille, Les Trops, Panafrica and Vitalexi.

And don’t miss the print bags from Hay. 

The stunning designs in home decor and kitchen appliances will freshen up any home. See what As’art, Baden, Habitat, Indego Africa, Booming Ville, Mifuko, Museum, Notre Monde, Octaevo, Papier Tigre, Serax, Studio Roof and Woouf have to offer. 

Another Story is on the fourth floor of the Helix Quartier at the EmQuartier. 

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

Plugged into African culture

THE LIFESTYLE-CONCEPT store Another Story is lightening up rainy days this month with the exotic vibes of its trendy home-decor items, fashion apparel and accessories, colourful stationery and tableware. 

The theme is “L’afrique c’est chic!” (“Africa is Chic!”) and there are more than 30 brands represented, mainly from that vast continent.

The prints and patterns found in African culture are mixed with vibrant colours to create fun looks, and with earth tones to evoke nature and the gritty challenges of travel. 

The clothing, selected to fit the Thai climate, comes from such popular brands as Delasebure, Izembatho, Okun, Reiko, Zhu and Zuri. 

Anyone looking for new accessories to mix and match with jeans or maxi dresses can check out the offerings from Beatriz, Gloriozo (Ghana), Hipanema and Macon Lesquoy. 

Eyewear created in collaboration with Izipizi will turn heads, as will fashionable sneakers from Bensimon and casual footwear from La Maison de l’espadrille, Les Trops, Panafrica and Vitalexi.

And don’t miss the print bags from Hay. 

The stunning designs in home decor and kitchen appliances will freshen up any home. See what As’art, Baden, Habitat, Indego Africa, Booming Ville, Mifuko, Museum, Notre Monde, Octaevo, Papier Tigre, Serax, Studio Roof and Woouf have to offer. 

Another Story is on the fourth floor of the Helix Quartier at the EmQuartier. 

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