Homemade Passover Matzah Balls

Ingredients:
4 tbsp chicken broth
4 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp ginger
2 tbsp grated onions
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 shakes paprika
1 cup matzah meal
4 large eggs

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Instructions:
-In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except eggs. Stir in one egg at a time until all eggs are incorporated.
-Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight
-Bring an 8 qt pot of water to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt.
-Wet hands and create balls between 1″ and 1.5″ in diameter
-Drop matzah balls into pot of boiling water, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until matzah balls are fluffy and floating at the top
-Remove matzah balls with a slotted spoon and serve in bowl of hot soup

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Homemade Rosh-Hashanah Honeycake Recipe

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
4 tbs vegetable oil
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups honey
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup white raisins
3 tbsp Cognac (optional)

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Instructions:
-Preheat oven to 300° Fahrenheit
-Grease and flour two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans (can use baking spray)
-In a 2 qt pot, combine coffee and honey, and bring to a boil. Stir in Cognac, if using
-In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in vegetable oil and brown sugar
-In another mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, walnuts, and raisins
-Stir the honey and coffee mixture and flour mixture alternately into the egg mixture untill all ingredients are mixed together
-Pour the batter into loaf pans
-Bake for 70 minutes, or until cakes are springy to the touch. Test by poking a toothpick into the middle of the mixture and removing. If batter sticks to the toothpick, it requires more time
-Cool and let sit for at least 8 hours

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Homemade Caramel Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups Sugar
16 fl oz Light Corn Syrup
2 cups Half & half
1/2 cup Evaporated milk
8 tbsp Butter, cut into small slices
1 tsp Vanilla extract

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Instructions:
-Place sugar, corn syrup, and 1 cup half & half into 4 quart pot
-Place other cup of half & half and evaporated milk together in measuring cup
-Heat the mixture in the pot on medium-high, STIRRING CONSTANTLY (it burns easily)
-Heat until candy thermometer reads 234° Fahrenheit
-Slowly add the butter and measuring cup mixture by adding a slice of butter and splash of measuring cup mixture, alternating until all has been added. Don’t do this too fast, you do not want the mixture to stop bubbling
– Heat until candy thermometer reads 246° Fahrenheit when measured from middle of pot
-Remove from heat, add vanilla extract, and mix breifly
-Pour into greased 8″ x 8″ pan and let cool

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Homemade Fudge Recipe

Supplies:
3 qt or larger pot
8” x 8” pan
Heat resistant spatula for stirring or something that works just as well

Ingredients:
1 ½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ stick/4 tbs soft butter, unsalted
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 jar/7 oz marshmallow fluff
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
-Grease 8” x 8” pan so it’s ready for later
-Place sugar, salt, butter, evaporated milk, and marshmallow fluff in a 3 qt or larger pot and mix until somewhat consistent (butter may not melt and fluff may not completely mix, but as long as all the sugar is dissolved it’s fine)
-Heat on stove top on medium-high while stirring constantly, being sure to scrape sides and bottom so nothing sticks and burns. During heating, mixture will start to bubble and rise a bit, which is normal.
-When the bubbles become heaping/large and the consistency feels more viscous than before, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 5 more minutes, continuing to stir. During this point it’ll simmer down.
-After the 5 minutes has elapsed, remove from heat and quickly add the chocolate chips and vanilla, stirring in a folding motion to mix evenly
-Pour into greased 8” x 8” pan and let cool

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Homemade Meatball Recipe

Ingredients:
2 lbs Ground beef
2/3 cups Italian breadcrumbs
1 Yellow Onion, finely diced
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup Parsley leaves, finely chopped
5 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Kosher salt

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Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit
Mix ingredients in large mixing bowl
Form into balls roughly 1″-1.5″ in diameter and place on greased tray
Bake for 15 minutes

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Is the Insect Food Boom over or when it Will Start?

Introductory chapter

As an introductory chapter for this “Edible Insects” book, I have collected a number of newspaper articles from Finland (Finnish names of the articles translated in English) on the insect food business development between 2016 and 2019. These papers show at first enormous boom of the insect food production and sales for human consumption after that business was finally legalized in September 2017. However, already in late 2018, many insect farmers and market people expressed their concerns that the business development has not been as lucrative as anticipated. Year 2019 brought more not so positive evaluations of insect food markets in Finland but concluding that the insect food boom will come one day, latest with the next generation of people.

2. First illegal food due to European Union regulations

Insect food marketing was at first illegal in Finland although some production existed. Enthusiastic farmers and researchers started, however, in 2016 to organize insect food tasting events in some restaurants and schools around the country. One restaurant in Helsinki (Restaurant Rupla, Helsinginkatu 16) had a three course insect menu one evening every two month (21.07, 21.09 etc.). None of the participants refused to eat the insect food [1]. Actually many people had to queue to get to taste the insect food.

In February 2017, newspapers wrote that many start-up companies in Otaniemi university campus believe that insect food business could bring millions income to the participants [2]. A bit later it was written that people in North Karelia are well prepared to start insect food production and that 70% of the Finnish population is ready to taste insect food products [3].

Finally in September 2017, Finland adapted the EU regulations so that it was acceptable to start selling insect food as human food products. This sales permit allows selling insect products made out of the following insects:

Black soldier fly larvae Hermetia illucens
Cricket Acheta domesticus
Desert locust Schistocerca gregaria
Drone bee larvae Apis mellifera
Lesser mealworm (= chicken hog larva) Alphitobius diaperinus
Migratory locust Locusta migratoria
1Tropical domestic cricket Gryllodes sigillatus
Yellow mealworm Tenebrio molitor

Several farmers modified their farms by giving up the pig farming and starting to grow insects, instead. Some tens of restaurants started to offer insect food on their menu. Many new insect products were introduced to the market when the sale of insect food became legal. Some producers stated that “We will start slowly, learning the markets and markets getting to know us.” When asked about the taste, people stated: “Taste is mild, something between chicken and shrimps. Best crickets are when well fried” [4].

Leader Foods Oy, for instance, started to sell cricket protein bars. One Zircca bar contains 15 crickets and 34% protein and it is gluten free product. The company says that cricket bars meet all nutrition requirements equally well as any meat or fish products. And the iron content of crickets is higher than that in spinach [5].

On June 11, 2018, Oy Halva Ab brought to the markets cricket liquorice bars first time in Finland and in the world [6].

One of the most amazing problems in cricket farms in Finland have been extremely warm and dry summer weathers we have had recent years. Even the tropical species stopped eating due to the heath or rather due to the dry air. In the tropics, weather is always humid even in high temperatures. So the farmers were forced to invest in expensive air humidifiers [7]. Second major problem many commercial insect farmers faced when starting large scale production was the lack of commercial feed for the insects [8]. In 2018, the Natural Resources Institute Finland and Eastern Finland University started a project to produce plant-based pelleted feed for the insect farmers. This ‘Hyvä Rehu’ (=Good Feed) project lasts 2 years, and is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture of Finland.

At the end of 2018, newspapers started to write negative news from the farmers who had invested money to make millions with the insect food [9]. In Loviisa town, there was a huge insect farm that aimed to be the largest in Europe but had to be closed down in 2019 as not profitable enough [7]. After the boom started in 2017, the sales have gone down and supermarkets have started to diminish the selection of insect food products. Some insect food producers say that marketing of insects was better when they were sold illegally as human food. The products were often labeled and sold as kitchen and food decoration items [10].

Large part of the population still finds the insect food too exotic, but the producers and sale people hope that the next generation would be a real insect-eating generation.

Similarly large supermarket chains, S-group & K-markets, will keep the insect food available hoping that the sales will eventually pick up. When that will happen is still unknown [10].

One of the largest insect food companies in Finland is Finsect which also exports the insect products under the name “Griidy”. They have 26 contract farmers mainly in Western Finland. They are producing cricket bread, cricket chocolate, cricket liquorice, roasted and seasoned crickets and cricket meal 150–450 E/kg for the consumers depending on the package size [11]. This high consumer price may partly explain the insect food marketing problems in Finland.

Additional papers collected but not cited

  1. Kurki E. Pests in flour bags soon legal food table items. Karjalainen. 2016

  2. Rouvinen M. Many Finns would like to buy insect food already now. Karjalainen. 2017

  3. Savolainen S. Would you like to eat crickets? Apu. 2017

  4. Merimaa J. Food security from insects. Helsingin Sanomat. 2017

  5. Lehtinen T. Now insects will be made into food products. Helsingin Sanomat. 2017

  6. Salminen J. Crickets feel in mouth like the Finnish Rye Crispbread. Helsingin Sanomat. 2017

  7. Nieminen K. Insects can now be sold as food products. Karjalainen. 2017

  8. Massinen T. Crickets for hunger: Insects scurrying to the plate/insect food boom is only starting. Karjalainen. 2019

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Dog treat reciepes

Ever been too lazy to get off the couch and get a beer? Teach your dog to do it and you’ll never have to change.

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