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Lindacakes

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Everything posted by Lindacakes

  1. Hmmm . . . Chez Pim Bouquet des Fleurs Marmalade . . . must try . . . Black Cap = Black Raspberry . . . I tried Trader Joe's Cherry Preserves last night. I am thinking this is too sweet, but I would use this, drained, in place of candied cherries in a fruitcake.
  2. Interestingly, Indian and Mexican food was mentioned. Ghee and lard.
  3. Depending on how huge the batch . . . Immerse the cookie bowl in some warm water to bring the temperature up faster . . .
  4. Keillor also makes a ginger marmelade, that's very appealing, will try that one, too . . .
  5. Hero . . . another fairly common brand I haven't paid enough attention to. They don't use high fructose corn syrup and they have a new line called Delicia that has more fruit and less sugar. Also interesting flavors like red currant, quince, plum, rosehip and gooseberry . . . I'll give that a try. They don't seem to have seedless versions, though.
  6. Interestingly, the regular Smuckers have high fructose corn syrup. The Simply Fruit and Orchard Finest do not. For some reason, it never dawned on me to try Trappist or St. Dalfour's -- I will right away. Thank you for all the suggestions.
  7. I've run out of preserves and need to restock. I realize the appropriate thing to do here is to make my own, and it would take a year of preserving to get in all my favorites as they ripen. But I need some now and I'd like some advice on what are your favorite commercial brands and flavors. High end best, just plain delicious common, good. Right now I have one jar, it's Bonnie's Jams Black and Blue (blackberry and blueberry). I bought it in the Whole Foods cheese section -- I'd gone specifically to buy jam and was not impressed with what they have on the shelf with the peanut butter. It's just okay. I wouldn't buy another jar. I've scoured the posts and found recommendations for Rose's Lime Marmalade, Bonne Maman Peach and Tiptree's Little Scarlet. I've had Little Scarlet, I like Little Scarlet. I tried to buy a jar at Kalustyan's yesterday and balked at the $17.00 price tag. They did have My Mamoun (guess at the brand name, I cannot find this Googling, it has burlap over the top) Rose Petal Jelly, but that's more esoteric than I want. My favorite was a California small batch apricot jam that came in a relatively large French canning jar. This I got at the second Balducci's, which is now closed. I don't think I've enjoyed jam much since then . . . I'd also like to know what folks like in the way of commercial orange marmalades. After trying a bunch, I think I like Smucker's best -- don't like the overly bitter ones. And if anyone knows of a good commercial seedless raspberry jam . . . Please help!
  8. I remembered this. Stuffed Dates chopped Marcona almonds chopped candied ginger chopped candied orange sugar (optional) madeira (optional) dates Cut a slit into the dates so that they hinge. Spoon mixture into date. Close date, reform. Dates will appear whole. I actually throw these in with other desserts because I like serving three desserts at a time and at least one of them has to be easy. They make wonderful snacks on their own. If you are talking staples, graham crackers and cream cheese.
  9. I think the answer to this question depends entirely on what you usually have in the house. As you so aptly pointed out, if you knew you were going to want something sweet, you'd have it. What works for me is yogurt with an ample amount of maple syrup and then some form of warmed fruit, not unlike what you've described above. I always have walnuts in the house because I buy them in five pound bags and freeze them -- small organic farmers only sell five pound bags . . . So . . . really good and really sweet is fried banana and date goo with toasted walnuts and the overly mapley yogurt. This also works with cooked apples and cinnamon. Warmed pears with candied ginger (I can't live without a jar of candied ginger in the house). If you have some sort of jam or preserve, warming a copious amount of that and mixing it in plain yogurt works well, too. Sometimes I have peanut butter, not often, and I will take a spoon of that and stud it with chocolate chips. Trader Joe's is carrying a molasses cookie that is unbaked dough on a little tray. It comes with a packet of sugar crystals, you take the dough and roll it in the sugar and bake it like a regular cookie. These actually taste pretty damn good and I fully intend to buy another package and freeze it so that I can bake them one at a time as needed. Or four at a time as needed . . . I am a baker and I love baking, but I get the now thing.
  10. I take classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York from time to time. I try to choose carefully and take classes that will teach me a skill not easily acquired on my own and when I get in class -- I work. Hard. Most people who take classes are not overly interested in pushing their skill level, they want to have fun or pass the time. The smaller number of students, the better, and if you can get near-private instruction, all the better. It helps to talk to the teacher about what you want. I took a pie class with Carole Walter, not because I wanted to learn how to make pie, I wanted to push my skill level through the roof. When we had a lunch break, and we were sitting around the table, I told her this in the form of the story that I wanted to make pie like my mother -- who made the best pie I've ever had and ruined a lot of pie for me. Carole took me under her wing and helped me, pushed me, and at the end of class said to me: "I want you to go home and make six more pies this week." It took me a couple of weeks but I did it. And I accomplished my goal -- I'm an accomplished and confident pie baker and my pies are better than anything I could possibly buy and as good as my mom's. I was lucky with Carole, she's an excellent teacher. Not all of them are, and you have to be aggressive in the class, making sure you can see the demonstration, making sure you get to try everything with your own hands.
  11. This is a very natural course of Bibliophilia. The virus lies dormant. Only to re-emerge, or adapt and undergo tranfiguration. My guess is your passion will continue to grow and the acquisitional phase of the Bibliophilia fever will re-emerge. Worry not. Spend this recuperative time building new book shelves.
  12. I spent quite a bit of time with the site yesterday and was very happy to see that more members are adding notes and recommending recipes. It really is like a power boost for your cookbook collection -- something most of us have invested thousands of dollars in.
  13. This Foodie is selfless enough to try every dish and have a sick stomach every time becuase of the odd combinations and food sitting out. I go for my friend's company. I'm participating in this thread because I feel a oneness with Foodies.
  14. I think you really can't take it to heart. I know, I've been there. One year a friend of mine asked me to bring a vegetable to Thanksgiving. I'm a rather good baker, and known for it, and I specialize in pie, and I was stunned. I brought a dish I pulled out of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone at the last minute and it was a big hit. Last night (SuperBowl) I brought a three foot sandwich I bought from an Italian deli and it was a big hit. Who knows why and when something is a hit, because all I can remember is the time I brought a pumpkin pie and whipped organic cream on the spot, and then passed it, and the teenagers present proceeded to eat the entire bowl of cream. And no one ate the pie. I think I might remember that on my deathbed. My mother and I have our Differences, but I only have to think of her story of taking one of her absolutely gorgeous pecan pies, homemade lard crust flaky like a dream, wrapped perfectly and beautifully, to a bake sale where it sold for fifty cents and I am filled with love for her. For some reason, potluck cooking can be very painful. We love making our food and pride ourselves on it and we want to share it with people who appreciate it.
  15. Peas really add something to tuna and pasta. Silly little wagon wheels or something similar with crannies hold the peas.
  16. Well, really, a proper cup of coffee is espresso served at a bar in Italy, while you are standing up, contains a sugar, and is followed by a small glass of water. Repeat whenever you are flagging. For me, a cup of coffee is not served in a paper cup and is never carried around like a child's sippy cup. I don't know when this fetish started, but I wish it would stop. Since I am unfortunate enough not to live in Italy, and addicted to coffee on a daily basis, I have to compromise. Moka pot, Illy fine grind espresso. Probably more sugar than most people like. Served in a Johnson Bros. commemorative cup with the Empire State Building on it, in bed. Followed by a glass of water. Don't repeat if you can help it. Mainly because the Johnson Bros. cup is two and a half Italian portions . . .
  17. You need to be careful about your corn syrup. Most of them contain high fructose corn syrup. Glucose is pure.
  18. You don't need a stand mixer, or even a hand mixer. I didn't have either for years and years and did just fine. I think it makes me a better baker, I have learned more about the cues of texture and color. I took a pie class with Carole Walter and she was blown away that I'd never cut in butter to flour without using a food processor. I first started using one after I took her class. It works well to cut in butter what a PITA to clean just for that. If you can enlist someone on your household to cream butter for you, it works just like turning on the mixer and doing something else . . . That being said, I do have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and a Cuisinart hand mixer. I could go back to the hand mixer quite easily but you want a nice big deep bowl to keep icing off the fridge and the cabinets. I have also heard good things about the Viking hand mixer. It is true that you want a stand mixer for marshmallows.
  19. I used to order exclusively from the homestyle Italian restaurant down the street and get certain dishes they make well -- chicken soup, eggplant parmesean, a small plain pizza, chicken with lemon Lately I've been keen for Thai and Indian delivered to the house, I've gotten very lazy. Every time I order, I order something different and annotate the menu. I suppose I have a completion disease but I've discovered some good stuff.
  20. Since it's January, I offer an old standby that I start eating when I go "back to Weight Watchers": spinach chick peas chopped tomatoes Basically equal parts, easy if frozen or canned, heat that up and dust with parmesean.
  21. OK, I'll stand up and represent Those Of Us Who Are Coupled With The Opposite. I'm fast. I have an entire personality theory based on how you sat at your family's table. I sat next to my father. He's a fast eater. He built houses for a living and when he came home for dinner, he was hungry. Sometimes I eat too fast and have to slow myself down. Yes, I know, it's healthier to eat slower. It's also embarrassing to eat fast when eating for Business. I have to keep a close watch on my companions and make sure I match them bite for bite. It doesn't make me feel any better when I do this. I feel unnatural. The other half is slowwwwww. Sometimes I wait at the table, talking or feeding the bird to fill the time. Sometimes I get bored and leave. Sometimes I start in on dessert, if there is any. Sometimes I eat something off her plate. And neither one of us is right. Nor is the person who would finish in between us both. It just is. And is a ridiculous thing to contemplate if you think about all the people who don't have any food to time themselves eating.
  22. OK! So the recipe for Andiesenji's sandwich is in my iPhone and I'll order one at the earliest opportunity. I'll also get a grilled cheese with olive loaf because that sounds good to me. But what is pepper loaf?
  23. Tell me about olive loaf. I've always been curious about it, and I've discovered a deli in my neighborhood that makes really good homemade food. One of the available sandwiches is olive loaf. And I'm thinking, okay, I'm not getting any younger, it's time to try it. How do you eat an olive loaf sandwich? What kind of bread? What kind of condiments? All I've been able to find out so far is, "The secretary at the workshop used to send me out for olive loaf sandwiches -- olive loaf on rye." Maybe I need to hear how horrific it is. Help me.
  24. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies and interesting ideas. I think I'm going to go with the stollen. I didn't make fruitcake this year, I needed a rest, and I think my fans are disappointed. I really like the idea of being able to freeze the stollen. I am also a big fan of the idea that Andisenji used recipe X for years until she found THIS ONE. I love that, love that. I hadn't heard of Betsy Oppeneer before and now I want her book on celebration breads. Questions for Andisenji -- do you soak your fruit in the rum or the orange juice? Have you ever tried the almond paste option? I also really like the idea of a fruit compote over sorbet . . . I have a big honker of a candied citron hanging around the house and I think poached candied citron over a sorbet would be pretty charming. And yes, homemade candied peel is the best but the candied orange slices I brought back are really, really good. As is the lemon peel -- the lemons on the Amalfi Coast are different, larger, with thicker peels. Thanks again!
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