Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by NVNVGirl

  1. OK Norm tell us more about the turkey. Stuffed/unstuffed? Brined/wet or dry? Temps? foil or no foil?


    I do our Thanksgiving turkey every year and am fascinated by the challenge of trying to make it good. Rarely an easy feat.

    Im not Norm, and his turkey looks beautiful and delicious! But my favorite way to cook turkey is Martha Stewart's (sorry :/) method with  brining the bird overnite, soaking cheesecloth in melted butter and white wine then covering it with same cheesecloth, and basting with the butter/wine mix every 20 min or so. We've been doing that for several years and it always turns out delicious. You can find the recipe online under Quince Glazed Roasted Turkey. Have never used the quince glaze but it turns out beautifully and is moist and tasty! But I'm interested in Norms method also!

    • Like 3
  2. I LOVE yams almost any way, but my favorite way of all, and one that I make as my meal very often, is scrubbed, stuck with a fork several times, and cooked in the oven at 350 deg for an hour and a half (that'a for a large garnet yam)....I love the sweet, soft inside and the crispy, slightly caramelized skin. Sometimes I fancy them up with some butter, but plain is just fine with me!

  3. Oh my gosh is right! I printed this recipe off YEARS ago (I can't believe it took me this long to finally make it!). I thought it sounded good, but not being very familiar with Indian cooking, I didn't know what many of the spices were and didn't have an Indian grocery nearby.

    I was gifted with a ton of heirloom and yellow tomatoes and was starting to panic trying to think of what to do with them all. I recalled this chutney recipe and had to do a websearch for it; all I ccould recall was Suvir Saran was the author and it starte off with "I have missed this chutney..." :blink: .

    I'm SO thankful for the wonders of search engines, LOL...I don't think I've ever had tomato chutney before and certainly never made it. I had to drive to another town for the ingredients, but it was SO worth it! I was afraid I'd strike out on the fresh curry leaves but I asked and so I received them; they are so fragrant and so yummy that I'm thinking of using curry leaves in everything now :smile: .

    The colors and the fragrances are an experience in and of themselves. I was a little worried that it was going to be way too hot for me or anyone I know, and so when I added the cayenne, after reading Cathy L's review, I used 1 1/2 TB. A little more than she did the first time, but not as much as the recipe cited. It was just perfect for my palate. I got started a little late last night, finishing cooking it just around midnight, so I let it cool and put it in the fridge partially covered overnight. Got to work, put it on the stove to reheat and cook down a bit and then went ahead and canned it. I have to admit to frequent taste tests; it's soooooo delicious! Now I want to make more; I know people are going to love getting this as a gift!

    Thank you again, Suvir, for posting this recipe and to everyone who contributed their uses of it. It really is a stellar (and yes, FUN) recipe! I can't wait to have some with crackers this afternoon!


  4. You're right; it IS more versatile! And, it's AVAILABLE :rolleyes: ! I'm going to order it; it looks like it will hold several tomatoes and facilitate me dipping them into the boiling water and then removing and dumping into cold water. That's all I really want :unsure: . Some of the baskets that are similar to this one didn't have a moveable handle, so this one will be great. Thanks again; I'm off to order it!

  5. YOU are such a PEACH :smile: ! I'll check around here; I can't believe something so simple is so difficult to procure! I'm not desperate for it since I'm using my sisters' at the moment, but I really want to have one on hand. There's an outlet mall near my mom's so will check there first and call the one near you to see if they still have any. If not, I'll bug you! Thanks! Seana

  6. I've been trying to find this collapsible stainless steel blanching basket and my local cookware stores don't have them; I've tried online and they seem to come from only one source (although KitchenKrafts says that they'd bought them in bulk and sold all they had and won't get anymore til next "season"). I see "vintage" ones on ebay, but some say they have some corrosion and I don't really need something with a red plastic coated handle.

    Does anyone know where I can order one of these? Picture below! Thanks so much for any help. FP1043.jpg

  7. I picked up a box of The One for red at a seminar Andrea did at Trefethen Winery last weekend and I LOVE them. I'm going back to the winery to purchase The One for whites when I have time to get over there.

    I think they're classic and classy looking in addition to complementing the wine being drunk from them and since moving to a smaller house with less storage space, this is the perfect solution for me.

  8. I tried an experiment. It turned out a dismal failure, boohoo!

    I have a recipe that always works for Lime Sponge Pudding; I thought I'd try something a little different and since I had coffee and chocolate, decided to make a "Mocha Sponge Pudding".

    I followed all other ingredients but instead of 1/3 cup lime juice, I substituted 1/3 cup strong coffee. And instead of 1 Tb lime zest, I used 1 Tb shaved chocolate. The coffee had been in the fridge prior to adding it to the scalded milk/egg yolk/sugar/flour/melted butter.

    The tops of it turned out just right; raised and cake-y; the bottom wasn't even CLOSE to custard; it was like soup.

    Is it the acid in the citrus that makes the difference, or was it because maybe the coffee was too cold?

    Such a disappointment. Would appreciate any ideas/advice.

  9. What does it take to hang the Wine Spectator "Award of Excellence" on the wall of a restaurant. We all know the answer is not much. I found that out a few years ago when visiting a restaurant proudly displaying the award whose wine steward told me they didn't offer any German rieslings because he didn't like them.

    WHY do I find that hilarious :huh: ??? Yet unsurprising :cool: .

  10. I'm not sure exactly what his thought process is, but if it's a romantic theme for couples, why not ONE plane and two hearts :huh: ? Or maybe a large heart with the plane set on top of it, sort of flying across the heart?

  11. I love pears and Bartlett's are my favorite :biggrin: . I was just recently looking for pear recipes too~ I have a beautiful picture of a pear and custard tart that I made last year; if I can ever figure out how to post photos here I will post it :rolleyes: .

    I found a salad of greens, candied pecans, blue cheese and a roasted pear dressing that sounds good.

    I made this tart also and it was delicous as well as beautiful~


  12. Can you describe what the differences are amongst them? I'm not a big cream cheese fan, but my husband swears by Philly for his clam dip. And I've tried to get by with some reasonable facsimiles (cheaper) and they are very different tasting than his Philly and he won't use them . I wonder if these might make a nice flavor difference?

    I'm interested b/c I'm also doing dog treats and dog cakes that use cream cheese for frosting and decoration....of course, I guess I'd have to do a tasting with the dogs as judges :rolleyes: . As they aren't terribly discriminating, it might be hard.

  13. My husband and I have to go to Carlsbad for a business thing and we have one free night. A friend recommended a seafood place in Del Mar that is a real seafood and beer place with picnic tables covered in newspaper and pitchers near the ocean. Just what we want...but he cannot remember the name of the place! If this sounds familiar to you, please let me know. Thanks.

    I'm not sure if this is the place, but Auggie's House of Crab is in Leucadia~ 1468 N. Coast Hwy 101.

    Here's a link to their website if you want to check it out; it's the place where if you buy 5 beers, you get the 6th one free :raz:


  14. Congratulations and I'd say 'your welcome', but you did everything!  I, like you, am an inexperienced baker, but have had such success with this loaf that I knew you'd be able to do it!  It looks good, it tastes good and it isn't too hard.  A perfect loaf for us beginning bakers!  Enjoy your new hobby.  I think everyone I know got a loaf of that bread when I first started baking it - I was just so thrilled with myself! :laugh:

    LOL....yeah, I definitely get that :laugh: . I had a cockatoo for about 20 yrs and she'd had two other owners before me; she started laying eggs after I'd had her 19 yrs .....with the first one, you'd have thought I invented the egg laying process and laid the egg MYSELF :rolleyes: ; I called EVERYBODY I think I"d EVER known to tell them I was going to be a grandma :blush: . It was like the miracle of all miracles! Those hopes were dashed while I was making phone calls though, when my male cockatoo got into her cage and picked the egg up and dropped it onto the floor :wacko: .

    Hopefully, my progress with bread will have a better outcome, haha.

  15. I grew up in a house where several types of bread were baked every day, both yeast breads and quick breads.

    However, when I began working in my mom's bakery at age fifteen, I was surprised at how different some of the steps were and I was fascinated by the big horizontal mixer that really worked the heck out of the dough. 

    From there, the dough was dumped into a huge rolling dough "trough" with a heavy lid for the first "rise" or fermentation.  It was punched down after an hour (usually when it was beginning to lift the top) then punched down again, transferred to the bench (in portions) and cut and scaled by hand and allowed to rise again on the bench before being run through the machine that rolled and formed it into a cylindrical roll to go into the loaf pans that were then racked and rolled into the steam box for the final proofing before going into the oven.

    Note that this involved more fermentation sessions than usual in home-baked recipes and the final product had a wonderful flavor.  The "French" and "Italian" doughs were kneaded much longer than the "regular Home-Style" bread.

    I learned that yeast dough is very forgiving and precise times are not all that important.

    My mom and stepdad are scaling bread dough on the bench.


    My mom at the oven, me by the rack - I had been unloading the first run of panned bread.  My mom was checking on something else that was in the oven at the same time. 


    That is a 16-rack oven with the "racks" going around the central burner like a Ferris wheel.

    Ohhhhhhhh Myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy......that's serious breadmaking :shock: !

    I guess I should have stipulated that my issues are primarily with yeast breads; I seem to do ok making muffins, scones and the like. But how hard is that? Of course, I'll omit dumplings from that statement :hmmm: .

  16. Thanks everyone! It's going back today. We don't have an OSH here, but I'll see if HD or Lowe's has something similar to what you're all describing. I should have known it was too small and cute to be any good :biggrin: .

    As far as inspiring awe, LOL....funny.....as long as I don't inspire terror :raz: .

    BTW, should I set the ramekins when I go to caramelize on a rack or something besides the countertop (we have granite, but still....)?

  17. I was so happy to finally have a brulee torch and not have to rely on the broiler for my brulees! I just tried to use the one I bought at Williams Sonoma and when I try to fill it with the can of Butane which I also bought there, it sprays all over (Yes, I did 'bleed' the valve first and I tried using a couple of the little plastic adaptors they provided). I finally got it to light, but then I think it was so high that it used up all of whatever fluid I managed to get into the thing and I'm just totally disgusted with it at the moment.

    Is it a piece of crap, or am I just doing something wrong? Why can't I fill it without Butane spraying all over? At this point, I'm ready to just return it and be done with it. But on the other hand, I don't want to return it if it's just ME b/c I really want a kitchen torch :smile: .

    Anyone else have one of these that they're happy (or not) with?

  18. The newest issue of Bon Appetit has an article by Melissa Clark, and how she keeps her weight down even though she works as a food writer and recipe developer.

    In a nutshell, it's all about portion control and exercising.  And evidently she eats food that always tastes so wonderful, even a small portion satisfies her.

    Must be nice.

    We who have weight problems potentially have about a million excuses for eating what we do.  That's certainly true of me.

    But where she works around wonderful food everyday, I'm sitting at a desk, often getting hungrier by the minute, and by the time I can get away for lunch, I'm starving.  I try to bring my lunch, but don't always have time, or things don't work out as I'd planned.  Sometimes I end up at a local sandwich shop; sometimes it's with fast food.  Not satisfying in flavor, so as we all know, we make up for that with volume.  Truly, there aren't really good meals, at a reasonably-affordable price, within reach on my lunch hour.

    I hang out with people who think Pizza Hut makes pretty damn good pizza, not those who dine on "foie gras terrines, braised lamb shanks, or desserts with names like Molten Chocolate Nirvana."  In short, although I could put more effort into making better tasting, more nutritious meals, there's also a limit to what I can do.  I suspect that's true of many of us.

    Melissa is right, that high-quality, well-prepared foods are often quite satisfying in small portions.  That's the goal, for me.  I'd be interested in what fellow food-lovers have to say about how they make that happen, and whether they can as much as they'd like.  What are your realities?  How do you deal with your challenges?

    I read that and thought "oh wow...big news :cool: ". Although, I suppose you might wonder how they do it being food writers and HAVING to eat great food on a regular basis.

    The way to do it is to try not to allow yourself to get too hungry. That's when most problems with overeating occur. We make the wrong choices b/c it's either fast/easy/convenient and we're STARVING and must have something RIGHT NOW; we eat more of it than we really need or want to b/c we're so hungry and eat so quickly, that your stomach and brain are in a total disconnect.

    I know it is such a tiresome ode at this point, but breakfast is REALLY important. I hesitate to even go into it here, for fear of sounding patronizing or redundant, but maybe there really are a lot of people who don't know or just don't believe.

    Breakfast gets your metabolism going first thing in the morning. So have SOMETHING.....preferably something healthy. For me, it's usually scrambled egg whites (protein), sometimes mixed with a little low fat cheese (what's that cheese stuff that comes in the little triangles?...that stuff) for a fat and a slice of whole grain toast (carbohydrates).

    Or, get some high quality protein powder and make a smoothie with frozen fruits, some low fat or nonfat yogurt and some flax seed oil.

    You should be eating 6 meals a day..."meal" meaning 3 regular meals and a small snack in between. Which would equate to a handful of dry roasted almonds and raisins; an apple and a piece of cheese, or any fruit; half a bagel with low fat cheese....you get my drift. And for regular meals, choose a lean protein, lots of sauteed (without butter) or steamed veggies, fruits, and maybe a baked yam or a big salad.

    If you get used to this (it takes preparation b/c you need to make sure you've got those in between meals ready in portion sized packs, and you need to grocery shop ahead of time so that you've always got what you need instead of relying on will power to not eat those last 6 Oreos for dinner b/c it's too much trouble to go to the store for some fish or chicken), it truly becomes second nature.

    I'm not saying to throw out everything you love. You just need to take some control back. I know if it's there, it's tempting, but if you're really not hungry, you won't be AS tempted to eat it.

    And when you eat this way (I call it "clean eating"), you can enjoy the indulgences every now and then b/c nothing is really that bad for you in moderation.

    I keep boneless, skinless chicken breasts, frozen shrimp and sole on hand all the time. I marinate and grill several chicken breasts at a time and then I have them already cooked for when I'm STARVING and can either eat them plain or in a salad. And I'm sure you know, there's a bazillion ways to cook chicken!

    And of course, exercise is key. All you have to do is walk. Of course, I could come up with a bazillion ways to exercise too, LOL.

    Good luck to you; it's never easy when you first get started, old habits are hard to break, but they can be changed!

  19. I used to have trouble with bread too, but i'm now at a decent stage - mostly knowing what it's going to turn out like, and it's always edible and quite enjoyable.

    One big thing for me was when I started using a minimal kneading technique a la Dan Lepard... It's not that it produces a better result than a long kneaded loaf by necessity, but my results were always better. It was probably a combination of things that did it though, like the actual recipes etc.

    So regardless of the recipe you follow, when you first mix it all up, leave it for a bit (maybe 10 mins) before you start kneading... dan's method is that you mix, leave for 10 min, knead for 10 seconds on an oiled bench, leave for 10 mins, and knead/leave twice more. But even if you will do a long knead, leave it first to "autolyse" which is about the gluten absorbing water, or something.

    As for water temperature, my good trick here is to boil a kettle, then add 1/3 boiling water to 2/3 cold (tap temperature) water, and that's about the right lukewarm temperature to make the yeast happy.

    My yeast is just active dry yeast (i can't get the instant kind easily) and if you want you can test the yeast is still alive by mixing a bit with some warm water and a little sugar and flour, wait for 10ish minutes and it should be foaming or a bit thick.... you should know if it is working.

    But i don't bother proof (test) it because i keep mine in the fridge and go through it quickly enough that it seems to always be alive.

    Good luck!!

    P.S white bread is easier to make than wholemeal or grain bread because of the gluten, so it's good to start with even if you don't like it as much :)

    Stuart~ thank you for all these tips! I didn't do the rest/knead/rest/knead this time, but with something more involved I will keep it in mind. I keep hearing that "handle it the least amount of time that you can or it will be tough" mantra in my head and I get scared to practically touch it once it's mixed!

    And thank you for reminding me to keep my yeast in the fridge...I havent' been using it very often, so I forget and then also, it's very warm here in the summer and even though I keep the house at around 78 deg, who knows how warm it really is in the cabinets? My yeast is now in the fridge, so thank you! I felt fortunate that mine actually was still ok today.

  20. the kind of flour used makes a big difference when I'm making bread.  Proper bread flour will help as it has more gluten.  You need the gluten to make it softer I think.  ...

    Not 'softer'. Yes flours are different. More gluten (higher protein flour) will make for more physical work kneading, etc, and should give a more 'risen' (taller, lighter) loaf.

    Hints, tips?

    Use a recipe that gives weights, not 'cups'. Its easier to follow more accurately. Really!

    And rather than flouring your 'kneading' surface, wipe it and your hands with a couple of teaspoonfuls of cooking oil - extra virgin olive oil is nice. Beginners tend to mix in a lot of extra flour, resulting in a heavier, duller loaf.

    "Warm" for yeast and dough means like a baby's bath. Blood heat. Test with your elbow. If you cannot feel it hot or cold, then its right. Too hot kills yeast.

    Use instant-mix (easyblend) yeast - at the very least to start with. Its pre-measured and very forgiving. See if you can find one without 'improvers'.

    I'd suggest you take just one trusted recipe, and practice it, with only minimal and intentional variation (like adjusting the salt to taste, or the length of bake for your particular oven) until you have conquered it, then progress to another type of bread...

    And stuartlikesstrudel is quite right about starting with a 'white' loaf and following Dan Lepard's ideas of plenty of time and not much kneading.

    Here's Dan's recipe for "the easiest loaf in the world" http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/200...nddrink.baking8

    That said, I'd simplify even more, skipping the warming/sterilising of the bowl with boiling water, and the oven steaming, slashing and dusting until you know what you are doing!

    BTW Google will do any unit conversions you need ... http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/help/featu...html#calculator

    The rest of the text from the excellent Guardian baking guide is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2007.../24/bakingguide

    Good sensible stuff.

    You are a wealth of knowledge! I esp. want to thank you for the tip of oiling my hands and the working surface instead of flouring it...I have always HATED flouring it b/c it never seems to make anything easier or better; just messier! The oiling was FABULOUS!!!! I just used a tiny bit on the granite and my hands and at first (b/c the other GEM you told me was to not worry about the wetness per se), I was afraid the dough was just going to stick to it, but lo and behold.....it acted like the best behaved glob of dough I can even imagine! It just shaped up beautifully in a second! And the dough was not SO wet...it was just slightly stickier than I expected, but it spun up so beautifully in the mixer and it wasn't sticking to the sides of the bowl, so I figured it was ok.....and the stickiness went away once I started kneading it...amazing!

    It was still slightly "langorous" when I picked it up to put it into the bread pan....sort of spilling over my hands whenever I moved it, but it didn't stick to anything. I was a little confused then, b/c the loaf had somehow elongated itself before I got it into the pan, but I stuffed it in there and shaped it a little before covering it to rise again.

    The loaf I made was super simple, but I am going to check out your links here and put them in my next "to do" and compare them....this is going to be a very fun and interesting journey I think!

    I really appreciate your time and valuable input! Seana

  • Create New...