SMORGASBORD: Beyond ramen ... Know your sugars ... Sweet MagnoliasGo beyond basic ramen with a quartet of microwaveable eats dubbed Singapore Street Noodles from Simply Asia. Each bowl includes three packets (rice noodles, sauce, dehydrated vegetables) in garlic basil, kimchi, sesame ginger and classic curry flavors.
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
Go beyond basic ramen with a quartet of microwaveable eats dubbed Singapore Street Noodles from Simply Asia. Each bowl includes three packets (rice noodles, sauce, dehydrated vegetables) in garlic basil, kimchi, sesame ginger and classic curry flavors. They have hot-pepper ratings, are gluten-free and weigh in at 180 to 210 calories per serving (two per bowl). Among the favorites: the fragrant, mild sesame ginger and fiery yellow curry.
Suggested retail price: $3.29. To locate a store or shop online, go to simplyasia.com.
Know your sugars
Ever wondered: When a recipe calls for raw cane sugar, can you substitute regular sugar?
Yes, you can. Several varieties of sugar are now available in the baking aisle, and many are interchangeable with each other, cup for cup.
Sugars labeled turbinado or demerara are a close substitute to raw sugar. They are less processed than regular sugar.
Here are common sugar varieties and their differences:
• Granulated sugar: This is the most commonly used form of sweetener for baked goods or at the table. It’s generally inexpensive and easy to work with. It’s refined from cane or beet sugar.
• Baker’s sugar: The crystals are smaller than regular granulated sugar. One brand is C&H Baker’s Sugar made just for baking. At www.chsugar.com, the grain size is defined as “ultra fine.” It’s also said to “blend and melt more evenly.” It measures the same as regular granulated sugar.
• Superfine sugar: You might see this listed as castor sugar, as it’s known in Britain and other countries. Superfine has a fine texture, which makes it dissolve faster in liquids. It’s ideal for making meringues.
• Brown sugar: Commonly available in light and dark versions. This is granulated sugar with some molasses mixed in; that’s why it’s darker and softer. The darker the sugar, the deeper the molasses flavor.
• Confectioners’ sugar: Also called powdered sugar. This is granulated sugar that’s been pulverized to a powder.
• Turbinado: This is raw sugar that, according to the “Food Lover’s Companion,” “has been steam cleaned.” It’s light brown, with large crystals. It can be used in place of raw cane sugar.
• Demerara sugar: This sugar is the English version of turbinado.
Always store sugar in a cool, dry place in an enclosed container to keep moisture out. If brown sugar becomes hard, place it in a bowl and microwave it in 30-second increments until it softens or you can break it up with a fork. Take it out of its plastic packaging first, because the sugar will become too hot and might melt the plastic.
Or, place brown sugar clumps in a paper bag and add a couple of apple wedges or a slice of bread. Close the bag tightly and leave for one to two days. Remove the apple slices.
Fans of Sherryl Woods’ Sweet Magnolias series of books now have an accompanying cookbook.
Woods, who divides her time between Key Biscayne and Virginia, started the series in 2007 with “Stealing Home.” All 10 novels are set in Serenity, S.C., and follow the friendship of three women.
“The Sweet Magnolias Cookbook: 150 Southern Recipes” (Harlequin, $21.95) was written with chef Teddi Wohlford, who owns a catering company called Culinary Creations in Macon, Ga. Wohlford updates classics in surprisingly simple ways.
As you’d expect from a Southern cookbook, most of the recipes seem ready for entertaining, starting with Helen’s lethal margaritas and running through Caramelized onion and bacon quiche to Southern supreme red velvet cake. There’s even a chapter of low-calorie healthy selections.
While Woods wrote the introduction in her own voice, the rest of this cookbook belongs to Dan Sue Sullivan, one of the fictional Sweet Magnolias and a restaurant owner.