cooking for a better 2021 - lesmel

É uma continuação do tópico let's cook out the decade - lesmel - 2020.

Este tópico foi continuado por please romaine calm in 2022 - lesmel.


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cooking for a better 2021 - lesmel

Editado: Jan 2, 2021, 11:32 pm

First kitchen craft for the year -- marshmallows!

Jan 5, 2021, 4:56 pm

Tonight is Family Dinner Night! Taco Tuesday, woot woot!! We have been on hiatus for the holidays. We will see how long this lasts for 2021.

Jan 10, 2021, 9:17 am

I made Irish Cream marshmallows this morning. I'm not sure I like the recipe. There's a lot of waste. I may have to try a few tweaks to see if I can reduce the waste. I'll probably compare the recipe I use to the new recipe and see if there's a way to just adjust the proven recipe. Or, I could just buy some LorAnn Irish Cream flavoring. All the flavor, none of the alcohol.

The good news: the marshmallow fluff is tasty. I have it in my morning coffee.

Jan 10, 2021, 11:12 am

>1 lesmel: & >3 lesmel: I have toyed with the idea of making my own marshmallows, but then I read the recipes and either they have ingredients I don't want to use, or involve too much kerfuffle. ;)

Jan 10, 2021, 11:26 am

>4 MrsLee: The recipe I normally use is fairly minimal - sugar, water, corn syrup, gelatin, flavoring, salt. There is a bit of kerfuffle no matter the recipe, though.

Jan 10, 2021, 4:49 pm

>5 lesmel: lol, we all choose our kerfuffle, as you can see from my thread. I suppose I don't love marshmallows enough to go through it. My poor husband has been begging me for hot cocoa with marshmallows for several weeks (I make the cocoa with cocoa powder, sugar and a little water, it is rather like drinking a chocolate bar).

Jan 11, 2021, 9:33 pm

I have a regular, socially-distanced Sunday night five-person "hang out." Usually, it's outside & we just sit and talk. Last night was wet, cold, and windy. We met on a screened in porch with a fire pit. I took my Irish Cream marshmallows when our hostess said "s'mores!" They were delicious smashed between graham crackers (no chocolate needed)!

Jan 11, 2021, 10:50 pm

>7 lesmel: That sounds amazing!

Jan 12, 2021, 6:25 am

In a book I recently read the hero's signature s'mores had Nutella and sliced strawberries instead of chocolate. (I'm allergic to strawberries and find Nutella highly overrated.)

Jan 12, 2021, 8:08 am

>9 MarthaJeanne: Those sound delicious. I like nutella; but I am not obsessed about like some are.

Jan 12, 2021, 9:34 am

I used to love Nutella, but then I became ingredient aware. It's full of crap. I can't imagine cold, wet slimy strawberries on my smore's though. I don't care for chocolate coated strawberries, either. Chocolate does not belong on cool, wet things. Strawberries are delicious in their place though. :)

Jan 12, 2021, 10:03 am

Ingredient 1: sugar
Ingredient 2: palm oil

Although I do have a recipe somewhere for quite good cookies whose ingredients are just Nutella, egg, and flour. My son and I enjoyed them, but only made them that once.

Nothing tastes good enough to spend the next day or two feeling like a cloud of mosquitoes attacked you.

Jan 12, 2021, 9:51 pm

Tonight was family dinner night. We made chicken & dumplings! MMmmmmm!!!

Jan 12, 2021, 9:53 pm

My Irish Cream marshmallows:

Jan 12, 2021, 9:55 pm

This was the taco salad from Jan 5 (see >2 lesmel:):

Jan 13, 2021, 9:40 am

Eating yummy food in the New Year. A good goal for everyone!

Jan 14, 2021, 2:16 pm

I made Kraft mac & cheese last night. Some will gasp in horror; but it's a comfort food for me. Mac & cheese isn't mac & cheese if it isn't neon. lol
I'm scheduled for my dose 1 vaxx tomorrow. It's also a long weekend here in the US. I need to decide if I should stock up on anything I want to make over the next few days or if I just eat out of my pantry/freezer. I'm inclined to just eat what I have because I have lots to choose from.

Jan 14, 2021, 3:10 pm

It's a good idea once in a while. I got rid of one box of leftovers from the freezer tonight, and also a batch of cut up vegetables from the fridge. Fast supper, good supper, and I should do it more often.

Jan 14, 2021, 8:19 pm

>3 lesmel: The idea of Irish Cream Marshmallows sounds awesome. Let me know if you figure this out.

Jan 21, 2021, 10:14 am

Orange chicken for Tuesday Dinner Night!

This was pretty tasty. I overcooked the chicken, though. Also, I would use a different BBQ sauce. I had a bottle of reduced sugar/hidden veggies BBQ sauce.

3-4 large chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup orange marmalade
2 T soy sauce

You could do this a few ways
-- brown the chicken in batches. add all the chicken back to the pan. add the sauce ingredients. simmer until reduced and chicken is done.
-- in one pan, cook the chicken. in a sauce pan, combine the sauce ingredients, cook until reduced. cover chicken in sauce.
-- make a light coating of flour/cornstarch, dredge the chicken, fry it. in a sauce pan, combine the sauce ingredients, cook until reduced. cover chicken in sauce.

Personally, I think there was too much BBQ to marmalade. I'd reduce the BBQ to 3/4 cup and maybe up the marmalade by 1/4 cup. I'd also be tempted to add fried orange peel. My brother added his standard stir fry veggies: broccoli, mushrooms, and onions. I made garlicky spinach (Ina Garten's recipe) to go with my orange chicken. I think I liked the spinach more than the chicken, to be honest.

Jan 30, 2021, 3:01 pm

Skillet lasagna for family dinner night on Tuesday.

This was a recipe from Pioneer Woman. We all agreed there were too many noodles called for in the recipe. We also wondered why there was butter in the sauce. I added meat to my version.

Jan 30, 2021, 3:03 pm

Busy morning today.

More skillet lasagna -- this time mushroom and spinach. I cooked a lot of mushrooms and spinach. Ended up with three pans on my stove. Luckily, I only had two on a flame at a time.

Jan 30, 2021, 3:08 pm

>21 lesmel: I've used a few recipes from The Pioneer Woman, and I'm starting to think gratuitous butter might just be her signature. ;-)

Jan 30, 2021, 3:08 pm

Also made marshmallows. Boozy marshmallows!

I'm pretty sure this batch went better. The syrup came out of the pan like it was supposed to. It's not the right weather for making candy; but I trust that the marshmallows will set up like they should. If all goes well, I will cut them in the morning. If not, I will be scooping it into a container and eating fluff in my coffee for a bit. 🤣

Editado: Jan 30, 2021, 3:09 pm

>23 Julie_in_the_Library: She must think she's the new Paula Deen -- everything's better with butter! Honestly, I love butter; but it's a weird addition to lasagna!

Jan 30, 2021, 3:10 pm

>25 lesmel: I've seen a few episodes of her show, and that might genuinely be what she's going for, actually.

Jan 30, 2021, 3:18 pm

Have I mentioned I bought a cast iron griddle? Hmm, I don't think I have. I hate it. Mostly because I don't have experience with cast iron. I'm learning though. I'll get there eventually.

It's from Lodge. It's a flat griddle on one side and a grill on the other.

So far, I've ruined bacon and a grilled cheese sandwich. The rockstar so far as been fried eggs. I don't think I've even gotten such perfect fried eggs before in my life.

Jan 30, 2021, 3:21 pm

>26 Julie_in_the_Library: I can see that. I watched her show very early on (when I still had cable). It's easy to see how Food Network could slip Ree Drummond into that niche after Paula Deen's brand tanked and no one wanted to touch her.

Fev 10, 2021, 12:04 am

Tonight was supposed to be Family Dinner Night. We chatted, instead. Next week, we switch to a new night -- Wednesdays.

I have lost count on the batches of marshmallows. I made Kahlúa and peppermint batches on Sunday. This coming Sunday, I'm supposed to teach some friends how to make them.

Oddly, the grocery store was out of Knox gelatine this morning. And store brand corn syrup. Weird. I will try again in a few days.

Fev 21, 2021, 3:04 am

>29 lesmel: I was unable to make peanut brittle at Christmas because no stores had any corn syrup...that is weird, because the pandemic would not cause a run on that! I happened to see one bottle just this week (I wasn't looking for it, it was just sitting by the brown sugar all by itself) and I snapped it up!

Fev 21, 2021, 5:39 pm

>30 Tess_W: The pandemic has caused delays in production, some supply chains, and shelf stocking though, and there has also been a huge surge of interest in home baking since the pandemic started. Add to that lots of people making pecan pies for Christmas, and stores can run out of corn syrup.

My grocery store has been running out of various baking supplies regularly since the start of the pandemic.

Fev 23, 2021, 3:50 am

>31 Julie_in_the_Library: that's probably the reason. My grocery also short on brown sugar.

Editado: Set 11, 2021, 4:41 pm

I got one of the coolest gifts ever...a mushroom growing kit. Y'all, if it's a plant, I kill it just by breathing. It's terrible. I can kill IVY. Let me just tell you that it's exceptional how easy this mushroom kit is.

In two weeks, I went from a box of growing substrate to a flush ready for cooking.

I made a stew with onion, tomato, and the mushrooms:

I've already prepped the box for another flush. *fingers crossed*

Fev 27, 2021, 10:31 am

Looks interesting. What type of mushroom is that?

Fev 27, 2021, 5:31 pm

That looks amazing!

Fev 27, 2021, 10:53 pm

>34 Tess_W: Pink oyster mushrooms.

>35 MrsLee: The stew was pretty tasty. I need to trim the mushrooms better next time. There were some woody bits that were unpleasant to chew on endlessly.

Fev 28, 2021, 8:27 am

>36 lesmel: have never seen or heard of pink oyster mushrooms!

Fev 28, 2021, 10:53 pm

>37 Tess_W: I hadn't until this kit!!

Editado: Mar 18, 2021, 3:49 pm

Got a second flush of pink oyster mushrooms. It's a puny flush; but I need to do something with it.

Also made KAB Spiced Rye Ginger Cookies. Oh good lord. I love these cookies. They actually might be just a touch too spicy for me. That's saying a lot because I loooooove spiced cookies. Mine didn't crackle like their photo; but they are purdy!

edited to add photo...

Mar 19, 2021, 7:01 am

>39 lesmel: nice looking! I have never hard of putting rye in cookies...was it caraway seeds or rye flour?

Mar 19, 2021, 9:48 am

>40 Tess_W: It calls for medium rye flour; but I only had dark. They are really good cookies. I'd totally make these again in a heart beat. KAB did an entire series on baking with rye -- with a variety of recipes that were not bread. I was looking for something that wasn't fussy. They have another recipe for a rye cookie that requires two hard boiled egg yolks. That's a big nope. Maybe some other time.

Mar 20, 2021, 1:30 am

>41 lesmel: I'm not a fan of the rye (I don't even like the smell), but was just curious.

Mar 21, 2021, 7:57 am

>39 lesmel: Those cookies look delicious - I may give them a try as I have a tin of black treacle (which will stand in for molasses) that needs using.

>42 Tess_W: I do like rye, but hardly ever use it - there seems to be no tradition for it in Britain other than as an addition to or substitute for wheat flour in bread-making (the result to be eaten only by those who couldn't afford proper wheat bread).

Editado: Mar 21, 2021, 8:29 am

>43 Sovay: I find that I prefer mixing treacle and golden syrup when substituting for US molasses.

I don't really care much for rye, but have found an ancient rye relative I really like called Waldstaude. I can't find an English name, but it seems to be in the same relationship as Spelt is to wheat. I have a bag of Waldstaude mixed with Dinkel (Spelt), and might try that next time I make ginger snaps. But my recipe calls for lots of cinnamon, and my husband would not appreciate my leaving that out. (Cinnamon has been found to be helpful for diabetes. It is not unreasonable that he wants more than I would otherwise use.)

Editado: Mar 21, 2021, 11:53 am

>44 MarthaJeanne: Maybe "Forest Bush Rye?"

Mar 21, 2021, 7:39 pm

>44 MarthaJeanne: I sometimes do mix treacle with syrup for US recipes, but I reckon the spice in those cookies should be enough to withstand undiluted treacle! It doesn't seem to be a popular flavour these days - even commercial treacle toffee is a lot paler and blander than it was in my childhood, though I've just Googled and am pleased to note that recipes for the real thing (treacle only, no syrup) are still out there for those that want to make their own.

I don't bake much bread these days so haven't investigated the new wave of unusual grains and flours - how does the Waldstaude differ from standard rye?

Editado: Mar 21, 2021, 8:08 pm

>46 Sovay: For one thing, it has a milder flavour. It also isn't as sticky when kneading. Of course, I cheat and add extra wheat gluten to most of my breads.

I need to try and bake bread tomorrow. How that fits with going to the mall for 13:00 is another matter.

Mar 21, 2021, 11:23 pm

>43 Sovay: & >46 Sovay: Let me know how it goes! The cookies were a hit at tonight's library meetup. We have a small gathering (no more than 6) outside to sit & talk. I took the cookies so I wouldn't be tempted to eat them all.

Mar 22, 2021, 8:40 am

>47 MarthaJeanne: I've now parted with Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery but am pretty sure I remember her commenting in it that yeast is adaptable to any timetable - if you need to make your bread quickly put the dough in a warm place to rise; if you have other plans and want it to take its time, put it in a cool place where it will rise slowly (and incidentally develop a much better flavour - she took serious issue with modern factory bread-making processes and the lack of flavour in the resulting bread, which she blamed mainly on the sheer speed of the process - from raw ingredients to cooled and wrapped loaf in about an hour).

Mar 22, 2021, 9:40 am

I've heard that it is much more healthful if the flour ferments for at least four hours.

We are home from the mall, so if I'm going to bake, I should start now.

Mar 22, 2021, 1:48 pm

Glad I peeked in here, reminded me that I have a batch of sourdough bread in the refrigerator waiting to be baked. It has been in there since Saturday morning. Recipe says up to 72 hours.

Mar 22, 2021, 5:54 pm

>5 lesmel: We have true mallows that grow here, but competing with the local animals for them is dicey. We also have a plant called a May Pop commonly. This month the fruit will look like a drab lolly pop on a single stem. The deer love to eat the leaves on the basal rosette. One would be hard pressed to get a bag of them under any circumstances.

Mar 23, 2021, 6:00 pm

>48 lesmel: Cookies are a success! They taste fabulous (rye definitely taking a back seat to the spices) and are quite crackly though not sparkly - after a dubious prod or two at the sticky squidgy batter I decided any attempt to roll bits of it in sugar would be doomed to disaster.

Darker than yours, no doubt due to treacle. There are a lot of them ... normally I'd take them in to work, but under present conditions we are being reminded several times a day by the Management that we MUST NOT SHARE FOOD!!! So I fear they would be confiscated and destroyed; possibly burnt by the public hangman as banned books used to be.

Editado: Mar 23, 2021, 7:20 pm

>53 Sovay: WOOT! I don't know how loose your batter/dough was; but mine wants to ooze a little while I roll them in the sugar. In fact, I made a second batch today. I used up the rye flour I had and had to scale the recipe a teensy bit. I probably should have compensated with an 1/8 - 1/4 tsp of extra ginger and black pepper. The flavor is still spot on; but my lips don't tingle from the spiciness.

Editado: Mar 24, 2021, 3:38 am

>54 lesmel: My mix was midway between batter and dough - not possible to handle, though I could probably have dropped tablespoonfuls into a deep plate of sugar and rolled them around hands-free. After a long day at work I decided not to bother!

The one thing I might do next time is reduce the salt a bit; also, cut the quantity in half, at least until circumstances change and I can make them for more than just myself. This is a handy store-cupboard recipe to have standing by for those times when, as a single cook, I find that scaling down a recipe has left me with half an egg to use up.

I was interested to note that the online recipe (volume- based) gave an equivalent weight for the flour and sugar, but also for the oil - even in Britain we normally measure liquid ingredients by volume not weight. Molasses/treacle can go either way - I did mine by volume, having measured the oil in the same jug so that it would roll out without sticking. I'd forgotten the effect treacle has on its environment - as soon as you prise the lid off the tin, everything in the room seems to become slightly sticky ...

Abr 5, 2021, 10:23 am

>55 Sovay: I made a double batch of the rye cookies and put in 1/4 tsp less of salt. You are right about the dough needing less salt. It's a nice balance now! I need to write that on my recipe copy.

Abr 5, 2021, 5:55 pm

I wrote out the cookie recipe neatly on a piece of paper and put it in a relevant cookery book where I'd be able to find it again. Can I now remember which book I put it in? Of course not!

I have re-transcribed it, this time in the back of Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess (which is the book I thought I'd put the original in ...)

Abr 19, 2021, 5:28 pm

I made the viral sensation: Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies.


I'm not super impressed.
1. Chocolate chip are not be favorite cookie to begin with. That's not a knock against the recipe.
2. The cookies are unappealingly greasy the first day. That IS a not knock against the recipe. I looooove fresh, hot cookies. I do not love my cookies almost sliding out of my fingers.
3. The recipe said nothing about using or not using silpat; but I'm about 95% sure the recipe needs to state very clearly to not use slipat or to add 5 minutes to the cooking time. Otherwise, you end up with limp cookies instead of a firm, slightly crisp-edged, tender-centered cookie.
4. They are fussy.

Having said that, the cookies ARE better cooked longer. They ARE a LOT better each successive day after they have come out of the oven. If huge, thin, firm but not crunchy chocolate chip cookies are your jam, it might be worth the fussy pan banging.

Abr 19, 2021, 6:01 pm

They must be extremely sweet. That is an awful lot of sugar. I usually reduce the sugar to under half of the flour by weight.

Abr 19, 2021, 6:15 pm

>59 MarthaJeanne: The recipe is almost standard Toll House with respect to the amount of sugar...Kieffer adjusts the ratio from 1:1 white:brown to all white plus a tiny bit of brown. I'd guess others might find the cookie ultra sweet; but for me it doesn't taste any sweeter than the standard Toll House.

Abr 20, 2021, 7:27 am

>58 lesmel: I had a quick skim through the recipe and was intrigued by Troubleshooting point 8. Is European butter really more buttery than US butter?

Abr 20, 2021, 9:37 am

>61 Sovay: Some info here (third paragraph on the page): I seem to remember that there are quite a few comments around the site on the differences between European and US butter.

Abr 20, 2021, 10:16 am

>61 Sovay: European/European-style butter has a higher fat content (>= 82%) than American/American-style (>= 80%). Lots of buttery goodness discussion here and here

Abr 22, 2021, 9:39 am

Made "easy chicken piccata" last night...and it was. It was also tasty and I may be in trouble because I love piccata. I made extra sauce. I also used probably 5X the called for capers because I also love capers. Who only puts 2 tablespoons of capers in piccata for 4? 2 tablespoons barely even makes a dent in a single serving.
Also, I used chicken cutlets rather than spilt the breasts and beat them thin.

Abr 22, 2021, 11:13 am

>64 lesmel: you can have my capers, yuck! But like chicken piccata!

Abr 22, 2021, 12:22 pm

I'm with lesmel on the caper question. Best way to keep other people from encroaching on your pizza - order it with extra capers, olives and anchovies!

Abr 22, 2021, 12:29 pm

>66 Sovay: Sounds like my version of pasta puttanesca: eh, throw in a few more anchovies, there’s still some left in the tin ...

Editado: Abr 24, 2021, 1:29 pm

>64 lesmel: Similar problem today with a recipe for Moroccan chicken with ... olives. 6 olives for two portions. If you like olives, that is nothing. If you don't, just leave them out. I'm putting a lot more than 6 in.

I liked it, but it could have used even more olives.

Abr 30, 2021, 1:54 pm

>68 MarthaJeanne: I never understand recipes that do this. If olives (or capers) are the thing that make the dish, why so few?

Abr 30, 2021, 1:58 pm

Family dinner night has become family-maybe-dinner-night. We get online. We chat. It's all good. I'd gotten irritated that I was the one driving the bus for this thing. When we started, we picked a recipe or offered suggestions. At some point, I was just telling everyone what we were making with zero input from anyone. That's not what family dinner night was supposed to be.

I think we will be making Dr. Pepper pork chops this week. Maybe.

Abr 30, 2021, 2:34 pm

Dr Pepper... as in soda? Am curious.

Abr 30, 2021, 6:41 pm

>71 LolaWalser: Yep! Usually you see the recipe as a slow cooker recipe. I'm waiting for my mom to send me the recipe; but it's probably this or very similar: If this is the recipe, I'm definitely not including the brown sugar.

HA! It's root beer not Dr. Pepper; but here we are:

Maio 1, 2021, 3:29 am

>71 LolaWalser: >72 lesmel: Nigella Lawson has a recipe somewhere for ham cooked in Coca-Cola. I tried it once. Pretty good.

Maio 2, 2021, 12:07 pm

>72 lesmel:, >73 haydninvienna:

Interesting! Except for desserts, I never use sugar if I can help it, this is a variation to remember. I wonder if Coke works as a tenderiser too? If it works on pennies...

Maio 2, 2021, 12:13 pm

Coke does a good job of freeing up the aluminium zippers of the greenhouse when they have frozen in place.

Maio 3, 2021, 5:42 am

>72 lesmel: I finally got round to looking up what root beer actually is - as I suspected it seems to be related to the classic British fizzy pop, Dandelion and Burdock. Not sure I'd want to cook pork chops in Dandelion and Burdock though.

Maio 3, 2021, 3:57 pm

>21 lesmel:
Are those chunks of butter ontop? Eeek - hope its cheese instead. I read a lasagna recipe she had in her magazine and was surprised to see cottage cheese as an ingredient.

Maio 3, 2021, 6:41 pm

>75 MarthaJeanne:

Learn something new every day! Would hot water work too or am I missing something?

>77 booksbound2plz:

Looks like ricotta to me.

Maio 3, 2021, 8:08 pm

>77 booksbound2plz: Ricotta! >78 LolaWalser: had it right. :) There were giant blobs; but I also had about 9-12 servings of lasagna. Cottage cheese is pretty common in "American style" lasagna. I think it's because ricotta used to be pretty hard to come by in your generic non-big-city grocery/market.

Maio 4, 2021, 1:33 am

>78 LolaWalser: Frozen, not as in ice. The aluminium 'rusts' together. Water, hot or not, doesn't help.

Maio 7, 2021, 12:00 am

>79 lesmel: You can buy ricotta in the U.S. in most groceries, but it's so very expensive that many do in fact substitute cottage cheese. Neither one of my boys would eat ricotta, but they would eat lasagna if I used cottage cheese--been doing it ever since. And then there's the situation where it says ricotta cheese, but it's not really--it's a soy substitute and it's just yuck!

Maio 9, 2021, 1:33 am

>81 Tess_W: Now you can; but my hometown did not have ricotta when I was growing up there. Oddly, the local store brand ricotta (which I do not like at all) is cheaper than the store brand cottage cheese. That might explain why I cannot stand their ricotta. lol

Maio 9, 2021, 1:40 am

The root beer pork chops were fantastic. The sauce is sweet; but if you are a lover of hot/sweet, this could be up you alley! I didn't bother with hot sauce b/c I don't tolerate hot things well -- heat usually blows out my taste buds & I am left tasting bitter for everything.

I'd be willing to try this sauce on just about any meat. Even veggies like broccoli or Brussel sprouts would be good with the sauce. I'd also be willing the change the flavor profile some with soy sauce.

Maio 9, 2021, 9:25 am

I bought frozen yogurt a week ago in my favorite flavor -- black cherry & chocolate. I rarely eat ice cream any longer since it usually makes me sick; but frozen yogurt seemed a better option for a frozen treat. Yesterday, I ate a serving. I loved every bite of it. Even better, no consequences.

I had been considering making sorbet -- which I love and tolerate -- but I'll wait until I've finished the frozen yogurt before I find a cherry sorbet recipe to try.

Maio 9, 2021, 1:27 pm

I think I have accidentally invented some sort of frozen treat the other day. Maybe someone can tell me what it is--I rarely make anything sweet and I'm not up on desserts.

So, I had two egg whites left over and thought initially I'd make meringues, but then as I was beating them and sugar, and it got so creamy, I thought I'd add some frozen raspberries (maybe @300g, @ 11-12 oz?) that have been hanging around a while, so I did, and the more I beat that the better it looked! I added more sugar with the raspberries (not much, I like sour) and, purely because I thought why not, a tbs of yoghurt. (not sure this made any difference.)

It was amazingly good, ice creamy in consistency, sorbetty in taste. Also, I was amazed what a huge bowl only two egg whites and some raspberries made.

Maio 10, 2021, 8:06 am

>85 LolaWalser:
Similar to a number of desserts like mousse or parfait. Also could pass for a rough version of the Aussie's pavlova but I don't know if they ever eat it frozen.

Maio 10, 2021, 9:40 am

>86 mikevail: Um, no. As a consumer of pavlova of over 70 years' standing, I've never seen nor heard of a pavlova once filled being frozen. I think the meringue cases would freeze OK, but a filled pavlova, which is basically whipped cream and soft fruit, would just turn into a mess. I've also not come across a pavlova with fruit puree blended into the meringue, but now >85 LolaWalser: has raised the possibility, I don't see why not. Unfortunately I'm now far away from the heartland of the pavlova and don't have an experienced pavlova maker available.

Update: supermarkets in Australia sell pavlova cases, but they are not frozen, they are just bakery items. Also, I discover that an Australian spirit maker is making something called "pavlova vodka".

Maio 11, 2021, 11:28 pm

>86 mikevail:, >87 haydninvienna:

Mousse sounds good to me. :) The main reason I mentioned it is that lesmel brought up making sorbet vs. ice cream, and I was so thrilled to discover I could make something "sort of" like either without fancy tools!--no ice cream maker, or pavlova-maker, no repeated cycles of freezing/churning/refreezing etc.

I'd just point out, should anyone care to try it, that the raspberries were frozen and I didn't thaw them, just dusted off whatever crystals were visible, so that's how the mix ended up being a cool, "frozen" treat. Eating it fresh it was delicious, the next day almost as much--and to my surprise, it kept its consistency, didn't separate, or turn to mush.

Maio 22, 2021, 7:49 pm

>85 LolaWalser: Your dessert reminds me of semifreddo.

Maio 22, 2021, 8:25 pm

Family dinner nights have been hit & miss; but it's fun when we manage to meet up online! Most recent recipe was honey mustard chicken. The recipe called for chicken thighs; but I made wings. The sauce was great. The chicken was terrible. The meat was gristly and tough.

Maio 24, 2021, 1:37 pm

Made an impromptu pavo guisado thing from thick sliced turkey. Kinda, lazy librarian's guisado. Diced two thick slices of cajun fried turkey breast. Browned the turkey in a skillet. Added 1 clove of garlic mashed and minced. Moved it all to a bowl. Made 1 cup of chicken bullion. Added dried minced onion to the bullion. Combined 2 T butter and 2 T flour in the skillet. Cooked it until the color of the bullion. Added the cup of bullion slowly until smooth. Added the meat and garlic to the pan. Added a cup of water. Boiled everything until it reduced to the thickness I wanted. I ate 1/2 with a serving of rice for breakfast.

Maio 24, 2021, 2:03 pm

>90 lesmel:

Bad batch of chicken or a problem with the recipe?

I rarely cook wings because the ratio of skin to meat is so high.

Editado: Maio 24, 2021, 7:32 pm

>92 LolaWalser: Problem chicken. The recipe was fantastic -- my choice of using frozen drumettes in bulk was a bad one. The skin on wings (flats not the drums) is one of the reasons I love wings. I cook them in my air fryer until they are super crispy. The fat runs out and below the cooking grate. That leaves a ridiculously crunchy wing with tender meat.

Maio 24, 2021, 8:07 pm


ah, the crispiness of skin, any skin... I can never get to that perfect condition in my stove. Either it dries them out or burns.

Maio 25, 2021, 1:17 am

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Maio 27, 2021, 3:42 am

>93 lesmel:
>94 LolaWalser:

My sons, love(d) chicken skins--crispy. In fact, their "dream" was to open a fried chicken skins only type of to-go establishment. They insisted it would be a big hit! They had even planned to get the chicken skins really cheap or for free from chicken processing plants that produce skinless meat products.

Maio 29, 2021, 3:36 am

>85 LolaWalser: A different take on a vaguely similar idea: pastila. I propped at this line: "To make it, apple puree—essentially, applesauce—egg whites, and sugar are leavened with lots and lots of air that’s forced into the mixture with hard whisking." But it gets baked, not frozen. Come to think of it, that's even closer to a pavlova.

Maio 29, 2021, 2:56 pm

>96 Tess_W:

I'm partial to piggy (roast suckling mmmm) but hasten to add this is a rare treat indeed--last time over ten years ago at a wedding...

>97 haydninvienna:

That is very intriguing! I love sour apples, this could be something to try. Seems fairly simple. I imagine it would have the meltiness of the meringue.

Maio 29, 2021, 3:06 pm

>98 LolaWalser: Definitely give it a go! If it works it would make an interesting pavlova base, although that might be too much of a good thing.

Maio 29, 2021, 5:43 pm

>97 haydninvienna: I may have to try that sometime in Autumn when our weather is less humid.

Maio 29, 2021, 6:17 pm

Made carne guisada from Homesick Texan:

I browned the onions in oil in the instant pot, seasoned the beef (I used fine diced stew beef) and browned it (no oil) in a large enameled skillet, deglazed with some of the beer. Everything (except the water because the tomatoes and the beef made plenty of liquid to add to the beer) went into the instant pot with the onions (tomatoes on top to avoid burning). Under pressure for 45 minutes. Allowed the pot to natural release and cool significantly. Opened the pot and set it to sauté. I reduced the sauce to the consistently I wanted -- probably 2/3 reduced. I had ready to cook tortillas because I cannot make them better than my local HEB (grocery store).

This isn't the guisada I grew up with; but this is awesome guisada. I think it is a little heavy on the chili powder. Maybe 2 teaspoons...possibly 1 teaspoon instead. Definitely a keeper recipe!

Jun 6, 2021, 10:42 am

I'm going to make the spiced rye ginger cookies either today or tomorrow. We will have our first in-person book club meeting tomorrow and I'm stupid excited about it. We've done online meetings for over a year now. I'm also going to make more carne guisada with a few adjustments to the HST recipe.

Jun 14, 2021, 10:44 pm

Didn't make the cookies b/c it was too much fuss to have to individually wrap them for sharing. Also, it's hot. Cookie baking is the last thing I want to do in the house.

I did make guisada last night and part of this morning. I modified the recipe from >101 lesmel:. Only 1 teaspoon of chili powder. I added flour (after cooking the meat) to thicken the sauce. I also used twice the amount of onions. I used the Instant Pot again to speed up the whole process.

I think next time I will significantly reduce the liquid and also just use a tablespoon of tomato paste instead of the tomato sauce/puree.

Also made a semi-homemade version of this: Turns out, I don't like blood oranges. At least, not the blood orange I had. Still, the version I made of this was really good! I used a navel orange, a Cara Cara, a blood orange, and one avocado. I also used Hellmann's Cilantro-Lime sauce. I normally do not like cilantro (it's soapy as some will tell you); but this sauce is pretty good. Part of the benefit of diminished smell is diminished taste. It's a downside, too; but in the case of cilantro, I'm okay with other flavors overloading my palate.

Jun 15, 2021, 2:17 am

Apparently the cilantro thing is genetic, and up to 10% of people get the 'soapy' taste that most people don't get. I just wish restaurants would realize that there is a substantial minority of us for whom cilantro is a deal breaker.

Jun 15, 2021, 4:04 am

>103 lesmel: >104 MarthaJeanne: Count me in on the Anti-cilantro Party, for the reason lesmel mentioned!

Jun 15, 2021, 5:10 am

On the other hand, I love blood oranges, but they do vary a lot. And during the few weeks a year that I can get cara cara oranges, I won't even look at any others.

Jun 18, 2021, 6:31 am

I'm also an anti-cilantro and blood orange enthusiast. The only orange I care for are navels and mandarins. I'm also very anti-arugula!

Jul 25, 2021, 5:23 pm

I haven't been doing much cooking -- it's too hot.

I did spend the entire day running to five of seven Half Price Books in the metro area. I'm looking for issues of Sift magazine. If anyone has any they want to part with, I am willing to purchase and pay for shipping. :)

I've tried 10 US used book places that say they sell back issue magazines. I've tried ebay. I tried Amazon. I've just discovered a new list of vendors that specialize in back issues. Guess I have my evening planning. lol

Editado: Ago 1, 2021, 2:37 pm

Still not cooking because of the heat.

Two? weeks ago I watched two documentaries:

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy -
Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table -

Both are excellent. I didn't know much about either woman; but they are pretty spectacular.

Out 3, 2021, 10:04 am

After weeks of barely using my instant pot for anything other than heating quiche or popping food in the microwave, I'm actually making ginger syrup AND peas and ham -- both in the instant pot (I have two).

Not sure about the ginger syrup. I don't have enough Splenda for the amount of water; but we shall see. Also, in the instant pot, there's no evaporation; but I'm using half the amount of water called for. I'll probably boil the syrup a few minutes once the pot finished the pressure cycle. This syrup is never going to thicken like it would with sugar.

As for the peas and ham...First, I am pressure cooking a meaty ham bone to make some juice. The bone is from Honey Baked Ham. It's very meaty. I'll strip the meat for a couple meals this week. Then, I'll pressure cook the peas in some of the juice, the stripped bone, and a square of kombu. It's my secret weapon for tender beans and peas.

I have a lot of beans in my pantry. I may make kitchen sink bean soup, as in whatever mix of beans I have on hand. I think I have barley, maybe. It will be a bit before I get to bean soup. Alternatively, I could make Old Settler's Beans (sometimes called Calico Beans, I think) and use the beans from my pantry instead of canned.

I also have a crap ton of rice. I don't eat rice normally. Why did I think 2 5-lb bags of rice was a good idea?

Out 20, 2021, 8:15 pm

I taught myself how to make crumpets. Not that's it's THAT difficult; but it is very fiddly. I tried three recipes. All are keepers with a little bit of adjustment.

The King Arthur Baking recipes needs a touch more salt. I tried the recipe a second time with 1/8 tsp extra salt and they are soooooooooo good. I'm wondering if I can double proof the batter like the James Beard recipe to get deeper yeasty flavor. The recipe calls for baking powder.

The Warburtons recipe also needs a tiny bit more salt. I've only tried this once. The recipe calls for baking powder.

The James Beard recipe needs more liquid. I am so disappointed in this recipe. It's weird because it's very sticky and closer to a wet dough than a batter. The recipe calls for baking SODA.

Anyone have a crumpet recipe that use and trust?

I might try the Paul Hollywood recipe. I don't think it's much different from the three I've tried.

Out 29, 2021, 4:49 pm

Beans--with a honey-baked hambone--my favorite! I also make a dried green pea soup with left over ham bits, also. I never have used the canned beans, only the dried. As grocery prices continue to soar in the US, I have noticed that the dried beans and peas are often empty on the store shelves. Going to stock up this weekend.

Out 29, 2021, 11:15 pm

I made focaccia. I made FANNNNNNTASTIC focaccia. This one right here:

It's delicious. DELICIOUS. It also cannot stay in my house because I will eat with every meal for days. I made it in a half-sheet pan. It was a little bit thinner than I personally like; but that just made it have this fabulous crispy crust. I used grapes and Feta. I know I will make the recipe again. I just have to decide what to try next. I can go totally traditional with olives and tomatoes or olive oil and rosemary. OH!! Anchovies. Mmmmm. Onions. Cheese. Plain (olive oil and flaked salt) and used for spreads. Figs and honey?

Out 31, 2021, 3:05 pm

I used a store-bought dough puck to make a quiche; but broke the shell after baking it. I wasn't going to waste it, so I figured I would make a cheese/fruit tart instead. Sadly, that turned out tasting...less than spectacular. I can't decide if it was the dough or the cheese or the shallots. I don't think I am willing to try that again.

Hopefully, when I make the quiche this week, I don't discover the dough (I have more pucks in my freezer because I CANNOT make pie dough that isn't tough) is the culprit.

Nov 3, 2021, 11:02 pm

>113 lesmel: whoops! Glad I read this because I just remembered I have a pan to put in the oven tonight!

Editado: Dez 14, 2022, 8:01 pm

Still haven't made a quiche; but that's mostly timing and holidays.

For the holiday, my mom and I made cornbread dressing, chicken spaghetti, Harvard beets, and.....drum roll please...divinity!

The divinity was hilarious and mortifying. Mom's 57 (yes, fifty-seven) year old hand mixer died a valiant death. It was doing well until it wasn't. Then it started to smoke. Then it flat out stopped working. We tried to move to Mom's stand mixer; but she has a giant 6 qt glass bowl. That mixer requires a ton of anything to actually mix correctly. We lost the first batch of divinity. After a quick visit to Target, we tried again and succeeded.

The 57 year old mixer...

The sad first batch of divinity...

The second batch...

The reward for all the hard work...

Dez 12, 2021, 3:46 pm

>116 lesmel: That looks like a mixer my mom had. Haven't used one of those for a looooong time!

My mom always made divinity, patience and fudge for Christmas, and my sister made what she called Cathedral windows (dark/semisweet chocolate with colored mini marshmallows mixed in, she probably added nuts to some and not to others). I only ate the fudge and Cathedral windows if there were no nuts. Never cared for the other stuff, although, now that I'm an adult I would probably love it.

Editado: Dez 13, 2021, 4:53 pm

Funny story with Mom's 57 year old mixer. It's the mixer she got as a wedding present. She was using it one day and did the cardinal sin -- she poked her finger into whatever she was making. It sucked her whole hand between the beaters. She managed to get it unplugged. She called a college friend that lived in the same apartment building. He came down prepared to cut the beaters off her hand; but she refused to let him. It took some time (and maybe a lot of rude words); but they managed to get her hand loose.

ETA: I should say "funny" in the "this is weird and everyone survives" sense and not the "omg my stomach hurts from laughing" sense.

Dez 13, 2021, 12:37 pm

Dez 16, 2021, 7:56 am

I've had my same hand mixer (Sunbeam) that I got for a wedding present 45 years ago.

Dez 27, 2021, 9:55 am

I have 30ish posts to get me to the continuation link. Apologies for post bombing the group again. lol

Dez 27, 2021, 9:57 am

The holidays were a whirlwind of food making. There was divinity again (this time with jello):

Dez 27, 2021, 9:57 am

We made coffee cakes (an old family recipe):

Dez 27, 2021, 9:57 am

I'm wondering what my husband will come up with tonight. Will he use leftovers? frozen meals? or go shopping? (I used leftovers yesterday.)

Dez 27, 2021, 9:58 am

Rice Krispies Treats:

Dez 27, 2021, 9:59 am

>124 MarthaJeanne: My brother shops almost daily for whatever meals he's going to make for the day. I'm not sure I could do that. I like a little more planning in my meals, usually.

Dez 27, 2021, 10:02 am

Banana Pudding!

For some reason, this photo doesn't show how lovely the meringue really was after a short trip in the oven:

Dez 27, 2021, 10:04 am

Harvard beets:

I love beets. Really love them. This recipe is good; but needs adjustment. Specifically, don't add the butter.

Dez 27, 2021, 10:06 am

>127 lesmel: is there a difference in the lighting for the two pictures? The first one seems much warmer, with more yellow tones and less blue. If the tone of the counter matched, the meringue would probably also look better.

Editado: Dez 27, 2021, 10:08 am

Not pictured (some how) are:

  • the giant pan of Fireball marshmallows I made. I made them as part of a family gift for my brother and his crew.
  • the giant pot of golden nugget soup -- Christmas Eve Dinner
  • the giant pot of sausage potato soup -- Christmas Eve Dinner
  • queso and chips -- Christmas Eve Dinner
  • 131lesmel
    Dez 27, 2021, 10:09 am

    >129 MarthaJeanne: It's weird. I took the picture in almost exactly the same spot just 10ish minutes apart. I have a feeling the yellow from the pudding actually balanced the photo. Here's a shot of the pudding on the buffet.

    Editado: Dez 27, 2021, 10:11 am

    Yes, that looks much better!

    BTW He's home, and we're going with using leftovers.

    Dez 27, 2021, 10:11 am

    Almost forgot! Broccoli cornbread:

    Dez 27, 2021, 10:13 am

    Huh. Also not pictured is the homemade cranberry sauce. My cousin and I fight over the leftovers every year. It's not fancy; but it's always got such a great flavor.

    Dez 27, 2021, 10:14 am

    >132 MarthaJeanne: If I could ship you some of my leftovers, I would. We have a ton left.

    Editado: Dez 27, 2021, 10:32 am

    We have goose cut off the bone. We have goose gravy. and goose broth, and goose separated from the bones after boiling. Also goose fat from the broth.

    Then there are potatoes and veggies cooked in the oven under the goose. And cranberry sauce. I think he finished off the red cabbage. He finished the pumpkin pie (I may repeat that), but there are mince pies and various cookies. And biscuits from last night.

    I think we'll survive, although the broccoli cornbread looks tempting.

    He has to decide what protein to add to the veggies - besides the goose, there is ham, and/or frozen shrimp.

    Dez 27, 2021, 10:59 am

    Goose broth is no longer available. We agreed that it belongs in the freezer to enhance chicken dishes for the next few months. I fill it into my silicon muffin pans, and move it to a bag the next day. I usually have beef broth and chicken broth available, but goose is special.

    Dez 28, 2021, 10:14 pm

    >137 MarthaJeanne: Goose broth sounds delicious!

    Dez 28, 2021, 10:24 pm

    We have been eating on leftovers for days. Ham, Chik-fil-a nuggets, mac & cheese, beets, soup, ribs...

    Mom wants to make divinity again. I'm not sure I have the energy for making anything. We've been working in the guest room trying to clean it up and tidy everything. We'll be working on the room for several more days, I'm sure.

    Editado: Dez 29, 2021, 12:39 am

    >138 lesmel: It really transforms chicken dishes, so we tend not to just eat it plain. Last night we had paprika chicken from the freezer, but with added goose and goose gravy. It was good.

    Our guest room would take forever to clean up. It was better back when Mom could still travel. Much of the cleanup was done once a year before her visits.

    New enhancement for down there, though. I got a second cd player 'for Christmas', so that it can live down there next to my loom.

    Dez 30, 2021, 12:50 am

    More leftovers -- nuggets, mac & cheese, beets. Ate a Walmart mini pie (peach). It was pretty tasty. Not like homemade; but good.

    Dez 31, 2021, 7:19 am

    Can't we get another 10 messages together this year?

    Dez 31, 2021, 9:16 pm

    >142 MarthaJeanne: I'm sure we can!

    Dez 31, 2021, 9:18 pm

    Had NYE dinner. Forgot to get a pic of the pork belly grilled cheese sliders & ruben sandwich. The sandwich should have had Russian dressing; but I am pretty sure it was Thousand Island.

    Dez 31, 2021, 9:19 pm

    Not related to NYE dinner...I am going home with a giant flat of mac & cheese. I am ridiculously excited. Also have been told I am taking tamales home.

    Dez 31, 2021, 9:22 pm

    I took marshmallows to my dad & stepmom. They loved them. I am pretty sure marshmallows are the hit of the year.

    I'll probably make more through 2022. Maybe experimenting with flavorings.

    Dez 31, 2021, 9:41 pm

    Mom & I have been looking through my great-grandmother's recipe box...which is full of my grandmother's clippings.

    I need to post some pics in a bit.

    Dez 31, 2021, 11:36 pm

    The recipe box:

    Dez 31, 2021, 11:38 pm

    A recipe from the box I plan on making...

    If divinity can be weatherproof, I'm all in!

    Jan 1, 2022, 12:04 am

    Another fruitcake to try!

    Jan 1, 2022, 12:17 am

    And, to end the year, my mom's pickled beans recipe!

    Este tópico foi continuado por please romaine calm in 2022 - lesmel.