Cast Iron Cooking and Care

Posted on May 04, 2016 by Cynthia Wyman | 1 Comment

You Need to Know:

  1. Hand wash with warm water. Dry immediately and season your pan when you get it, even if it was purchased pre-seasoned. To season: heat up on the stove-top until smoking hot, then rub a little fat (oil, shortening, etc.) into it and let cool.
  2. Rub with a light coat of vegetable oil after every wash. Use enough oil to see a sheen without the pan feeling “sticky”. This keeps the iron seasoned and protected from moisture.
  3. Lodge Cast Iron is right at home on induction, ceramic, electric and gas cooktops, in your oven, on the grill, or even over the campfire. Do not use in the microwave. (Some induction tops will not work with 2-burner griddles).
  4. Cast Iron rarely needs to go above a medium heat setting when properly pre-heated. For the times when you do cook at higher temperatures, bring the pan to temperature gradually and add oil to just before adding food to prevent sticking.

Take Care:

  1. No need to wash with soap, simply hot water and wipe it out. If no soap is too scary, you can use a mild soap, rinse and dry.
  2. Some foods may to stick to new cast iron (especially eggs). Use a little extra oil or butter until you've built up the seasoning.
  3. Acidic foods like tomatoes, beans, and certain sauces can damage seasoning and should be avoided until the seasoning is well.
  4. Dishwashers, strong detergents and metal scouring pads are not recommended, as they remove seasoning.
  5. You may use metal (on flat grill pans), wood, or hi-temp silicone utensils.

Posted in grilling, tips & tricks

Sourdough Bread Day was April 1

Posted on April 02, 2016 by Cynthia Wyman | 0 Comments

April 1 was more than a day of playing practical jokes on friends, coworkers, and family members.  It also happens to be National Sourdough Bread day! Relax. Not all breads are equally bad on the carb list. The unique nature of sourdough bread actually reduces the amount of bad carbs. In the extended fermentation that produces sourdough starter, nutrients such as iron, zinc and magnesium, antioxidants, folic acid and other B vitamins become easier for our bodies to absorb. A great low glycemic index bread recipe that can be made healthier by substituting some or all the flour for wheat. Sourdough makes for making great French Toast, bruschetta, bread pudding, stuffing, or croutons.

Here’s the recipes from the Junior League of Little Rock: Little Rock Cooks:

Starter instructions:

Pour 1 cup milk into a non-metal bowl or jar and let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and stir. Leave uncovered in a warm place for 2 to 5 days.

After it becomes bubbly and it smells sour it can be used in recipes.  Maintain about 1 ½ cups at all times. When you use some, replace it with 1 cup milk and 1 cup all-purpose flour. Let set overnight and then refrigerate. (Do not cover the starter with a tight lid. Best practice is to use a clean dish cloth that is secured with rubber bands.)

Starter image from the Perfect Loaf website


Sourdough bread:

Yield: 2 loaves

1 cup starter

1 ½ cups warm water

4 cups all-purpose flour + 2 cups all-purpose flour (keep separate)

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 400°
  1. Mix together starter, water, 4 cups of flour, sugar, and salt. (If you substitute the whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour you might have to adjust the water).
  2. Pour into a bowl or crock and leave at room temperature for about 18 hours or until doubled in size.
  3. Mix 1 cup of flour with the baking soda.
  4. Add the flour and baking soda to the mix.
  5. Turn out onto floured counter-top or board and knead 9 minutes, working in remaining 1 cup of flour.
  6. Shape into 2 long loaves and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and let set in a warm place for 3 to 4 hours, until almost double.
  7. Brush tops with water and make 3 diagonal slashes across top with a sharp knife.
  8. Place a pan of water in the bottom of oven.
  9. Put the loaves in the oven and bake at 400° for about 45 minutes. It should sound hollow when tapped with a butter knife to ensure it is done.
  10. Allow the bread to sit for 15 minutes on a cooling rack for carry-over baking to finish.

    Posted in arkansas, breakfast, brunch, recipes, snacks, tips & tricks

    Our Last Minute Thanksgiving Checklist

    Posted on November 23, 2014 by Georgeanne Yehling | 0 Comments

    Before the turkey comes out of the oven and the candles are lit on the table, there's a lot of work to do. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. Don't worry, though--we've got our Thanksgiving Survival Checklist for you!

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    Posted in thanksgiving, tips & tricks

    What's the Big Deal About Brining?

    Posted on November 13, 2014 by Georgeanne Yehling | 0 Comments

    There are as many ways to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey as there are stars in the sky, but one method that has gotten a LOT of buzz over the past few years is brining. So.. uh, what the heck IS brining? We're glad you asked.

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    Posted in holidays, thanksgiving, tips & tricks