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MelissaH

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    Central New York via NEO, CO, Pittsburgh

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  1. Dinner 2017 (Part 6)

    That would not have been a possibility at my MIL's. When I was getting ready to make cookie crumbs for a lime pie (but that's another topic), she commented that she had a food processor now. She's never had one before, but yeah, that sounded better than bashing cookies in a ziplock bag. And then she pulled it out, and my heart sank. It was a Cuisinart brand FP. We took a quick look at the blade, ran the serial number, and registered her for the recalled blade replacement. And then I took a closer look at the blade, and saw cracks in it, even though it was barely ever used. So, no food processor. How smooth do you need to take the filling, to make it pipeable without needing a gigantic hole in the bag or tip?
  2. Carlota de limón icebox cake?

    And I finally tried a carlota de limon, more or less. My limey victims. It took 8 of these to get a scant cup of juice. I zested about half of them before squeezing. And the cans of milk, one each evaporated and sweetened condensed. I used the mixer with the whisk attachment to mix them together, which wasn't quite as easy as it sounded because of the thickness of the SCM. But eventually they combined, and I slowly poured the lime juice in while the mixer was still running. About a third or halfway through the addition, the contents of the mixer had noticeably thickened, but as I kept pouring, it thinned out. I let it keep going, hoping that it would maybe hold a bit of air and whip up, but instead it just splashed little droplets of filling everywhere. So I poured the contents into a glass measuring cup, stirred in the zest, covered it with plastic wrap, labeled it so I wouldn't confuse it with the corn soup that was in an identical glass measuring cup covered with plastic wrap, and stuck it in the fridge for several hours. My thinking was that maybe it needed a little time for the acid to better work on the milk...or maybe the chill would solidify the fat enough that I could beat it later. When I came back, it had, in fact, solidified enough that I felt comfortable using it. So I opened my maria cookies, and assessed their size. I wanted to make individual carlotas, since they were destined to travel to some friends' house the next day. The cookies were a tad too large to fit into a regular muffin tin, but seemed to work OK in a jumbo muffin tin. So I put a paper liner into each cup (tactical error; I should have first pushed plastic wrap into the cups to help me pop the liners out later) and then distributed a cookie into the bottom of each. I added a couple of spoonfuls of glop, then another cookie, another couple of spoonfuls, etc. I think in all, each cup held four cookies with glop, plus one last cookie to top it off. The pan then got a plastic wrap topping, and a long cold rest in the freezer. I had enough glop left over to also make two custard cups, layered the same way without the plastic liner. They, too, got a plastic wrap lid and an overnight freeze. The next day, just before we left home, I tried just flipping the whole muffin pan over with the plastic wrap still on top. Nothing budged. I wound up needing to use a plastic knife (it's a pan with a nonstick coating) to cut around each paper liner and then to lever it up and out. This part would have been much easier if I'd pushed plastic wrap down into the cup. Four of the cups then got packed into a lidded container for transport, with more plastic wrap between the layers, and the container went into a cooler of ice for the trip (an hour and a half drive, plus about another hour and a half while we ran various errands near to our friends' house). They went into the fridge while we ate lunch, and then came out. Here's what one of the custard cup versions looks like (because nobody photographed the muffin cup version). This was about half an hour out of the freezer. The flavor was quite bright and limey, although I think adding the microplaned zest to the goop was probably not the best way to use it, because I didn't care for the chunky texture. I also think that when I was making the goop, if I'd stopped pouring in lime juice when it visibly thickened, the goop would have been unbearably sweet. (Although a judicious addition of powdered citric acid might have helped with that.) It was certainly easy, although it needs a good bit of hands-off resting time. I don't think it would work as a roll, like the traditional chocolate water/whipped cream icebox cake is usually assembled. The idea is definitely worth playing with a bit more. Maybe chilling the evaporated milk so it would whip better would also help with the thickening?
  3. Dinner 2017 (Part 6)

    @chromedome and @Norm Matthews, we had the same discussion with my MIL. Our conclusion was that the ground beef was too lumpy to pipe well. Thus, a spoon it had to be.
  4. Dinner 2017 (Part 6)

    We actually wondered the same thing, when my MIL talked about making this recipe. But she opted to go with Mexican-ish instead of making her life a whole lot easier and buying a couple of lasagnas from the local Italian shop, which makes terrific lasagna from quality ingredients, because our niece (her granddaughter)s husband "doesn't like lasagna." I'd certainly go for an easier option, either layering it into lasagna (and in my case, probably using the Cook's Illustrated trick of soaking no-boil noodles in hot tap water for 5 minutes, then laying them in a single layer on kitchen towels until they're needed, so you don't need to worry about getting the pasta hydrated in the lasagna), rolling it inside of crepes a la cannelloni, or even taking it a step closer to Mexican and using corn tortillas instead of traditional pasta.
  5. And also Ronni Lundy's book Victuals. $1.99 (US, Prime). Sqirl is still regular Kindle price for me.
  6. No ice cream truck where I live. Kids in town can walk to the dairy or convenience store to buy their ice cream novelties. The last truck I saw with bells on it was during the spring we lived in Belgium on sabbatical. It didn't sell ice cream. It sold soup!
  7. As does amazon.com. Forkish's first book, Flour Water Yeast Salt, is also at that price.
  8. Dinner 2017 (Part 6)

    Coincidentally, when we visited my MIL a couple of weeks ago, she also made a Mexican stuffed shell recipe that turned out to be the hit of a family dinner. Hers was torn out of one or another magazine, and included ground beef, salsa, and a bit of cream cheese. What went into yours?
  9. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    I had SO many problems with this cookbook that I was about ready to throw it out the window! The local indie bookstore's owner actually offered to buy the book back from me because I usually bring in something to them when I buy a cookbook, and I bitched long and loud about this one. I said no, both because it's my local indie bookstore and because the reading is enjoyable enough that I'm not ready to get rid of it. When this book won the cookbook competition held by one of the big cooking sites, that site pretty much lost its credibility with me, at least for cookbooks. That said, your nan looks like good bread. And this post reminds me that I should look up other recipes in Flatbreads and Flavors by Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford, which I've found to be relatively reliable for this sort of recipe.
  10. Drowning in Figs!

    I have nothing useful to add, since I'm never going to have this problem living where I do, but boy, am I jealous! (I did look at fig trees, which are sold in the local nurseries. But to get them to survive the winter, they either need to be brought inside, or buried. Given that I can kill mint, I'm not even going to try.) But my impulses for other fruits that do provide themselves in great quantity is to find a way to preserve them such that they can be used in a variety of other foods: freezing, canning, jam, and the like. They won't be great for salads, but imagine the luxury of a schmear of fig puree inside a tart shell, along with maybe some goat cheese, in midwinter.
  11. I just logged out and looked. And I'm still seeing the higher price, even when I'm not logged in as anyone. I logged back in and the price didn't change. Obviously, there's something more affecting their pricing!
  12. Could you find a way to buy at the non-Prime price? The kicker is that the Kindle, of course, is linked to my Prime account.
  13. I'm still seeing Everything I Want To Eat at $14.95. I'm a Prime member, so that's not the issue.
  14. Is there a Mixed Nuts D, also? (And do the letters mean something, or were they just assigned in series as far as you can tell?)
  15. Um, yeah. If I got into that, I'd be paying a visit to Kerry or one of her ER colleagues.
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