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Becca Porter

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    Northeastern Louisiana

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  1. I am dying to make pate de fruits. I'm getting apple pectin from L'Epicerie tomorrow. I need to know how to make my own purée without a refractometer. Does every fruit have added sugar? Are they cooked at all, or just puréed? Can I just add 10% sugar to the purée by weight? Thanks.
  2. This is my son's plate of food including the Hurry Up and Wait Roast Chicken. I am set to go to the grocery store tomorrow and I was nearly out of food to cook. I had a frozen organic chicken though so I was able to make this very simple recipe. I have made some very complicated roast chickens (hello Zuni) and I really didn't think this would be that impressive. It was dead easy. I put some fingerling potatoes and onion wedges in the bottom of my roasting pan. While the chicken was resting tail in the air, I made a pan sauce with the drippings. I served it with roasted carrots and a salad. Dang. That pan sauce was beyond flavorful, even though I only used water. The chicken was moist and the combo was superb. I loved having the potatoes and onion with the sauce as well. I will be making this again, frequently!
  3. I have had my VM 5200 for at least 6 months now. When I was pregnant, I made green smoothies every day for about 3 months. Now I frequently make smoothies, frozen desserts, puree soups, make hummus, etc. I have had zero issues with durability. Every time I use it I think how glad I am that I bit the bullet. BTW, Vitamix offers a 3-month payment plan on their website. They just break it into 3 payments and take it out of your card for 3 months. It worked great for me. As far as Mole/chile sauces go, it eliminates the need to ever sieve your chile pastes again. Completely smooth. Amazing. Here is a blog about it: http://porterhouse.typepad.com/porter_house/2009/10/classic-red-mole.html That link also has my very favorite green drink recipe. Oh, and though I try not to do it often, my VM pitcher will fit in my dishwasher, no problem. So it depends on your dishwasher. Edited to add that I will actually have had my VM a year next month.
  4. Okay, it is not a food app per se, but if you do not have screebl for Android get it! It keeps your phone lit as long as it is at an angle, when you lay it flat it goes black. This is useful all the time, but it really helps if you happen to be cooking from a recipe on your phone. There is a paid version, but the free one works perfectly.
  5. I made the salted butter break-ups today. I was sad that 1 tsp of Morton's kosher salt left them not salty. Sadly I remembered after I made them that I do in fact have some sel gris, but it seems pretty coarse. Does that sound right? I will definitely try them again with the grey salt, as they were delicious and I love the break-apart nature of the cookie.
  6. I am buying the ingredients today for a few dishes: spiced butter-glazed carrots, garlicky crumb-coated broccoli, I want to try the salted butter break-ups real soon. I have so many recipes flagged already. I wish my 7-month old daughter would let me spend a little more time reading/using it!
  7. Just soak the apples in a mixture of hot water and vinegar for a few minutes, that will remove the wax without cooking the apples any. Remove them from the water and let them air dry.
  8. King Arthur sells it. I do not know if they have it available in bulk.
  9. Yeah, when I finally got another grinder for coffee, I gave up deep cleaning my spice grinder. I wash the lid in the dishwasher between uses, and then I just wipe out the grinder with a paper towel. No problem!
  10. Is Hamilton House still open? My husband and I thought it was great 11 years ago.
  11. Look, I still live in the Monroe area. It is true that most of my meals come out of my own kitchen. However, there are a couple decent places. If you want a low-key meal, I absolutely love Catfish Charlie's on Louisville Avenue. They have fried catfish, shrimp poboys, fried pickles, etc. They also have salads with fried/broiled fish. I believe they have gumbo. Anyway, I always get a shrimp poboy and a basket of fried pickles. Awesome! They have an open kitchen and seem to cook everything from scratch. It is fresh and the bread is good. I love it. If you just want pizza, Johnny's Pizza is a regional pizza chain that Louisiana (especially northern) is very fond of. It is certainly not gourmet, it is very much fast food, but extremely popular. I have not eaten at Restaurant Sage, but I did love the chef's old restaurant (not that he owned it), Canard's. Unfortunately, Canard's closed.
  12. Btw, I did try David L's chocolate P-style. I did not like it. It retained the exact same solid state, even when at room temp. It was weird. (It was the only ice cream of his, that I didn't like.) I adapted his butter pecan ice cream into a P-style. It is amazing. http://porterhouse.typepad.com/porter_house/2008/06/butter-pecan-ice-cream.html
  13. I greatly prefer P-style ice cream, at least when it is homemade. So far, my very favorite vanilla is David Lebovitz's. My very favorite chocolate is ironically from a French Chef... Pierre Herme. It is in his Chocolate Desserts book. He thinks that eggs compete with the flavor of chocolate too much; I agree. It only uses whole milk as well, no cream. It is crazy good. I blogged about it here with the recipe: http://porterhouse.typepad.com/porter_house/2008/04/pierre-hermes-c.html
  14. We are a family of four, though soon to be five in January! We very rarely eat out, maybe 1-2 a month. I shop at walmart for all our toiletries/household necessities , as well as food basics. However, I also visit gourmet shops, farmer's markets, etc. for specialty ingredients. On a normal week, I spend about $250 total. If I need to, I can cut it down to about $150. So probably almost $1000 a month for everything.
  15. Can't you just chop up pure chocolate into 1/4 inch chunks?
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