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    Sacramento, CA
  1. Thanks! I appreciate the input from all of you. --K
  2. Hello, I'm pretty new to dessert making, but I've been making lemon bundt cakes and tarts, etc. If I use Meyer lemons instead of the regular kind, do you think the desserts will taste noticeably different?
  3. Thanks for all the info. I didn't know Costco had its own brand of vanilla. I did know that Watkin's had other ingredients besides pure vanilla extract which was one reason I wanted to look around. I thought I'd be safe with Penzey's, but I can taste that wacky smell in the muffins I just made, not just when I smell it from the bottle. It would not have been so bad if it had dissipated after cooking. Thanks! --K
  4. Hello, I've used Watkin's Double Strength vanilla, and just bought some regular strength vanilla from Penzey's. The first is pretty good but I ran out and it is not easily purchased from stores. I ordered the Penzey's online. I found it to have an odd, plastic-like odor that almost masked the vanilla. Does anyone else have a favorite? --Kalyson
  5. Yes, that is working better. Searching on purees didn't really turn up much. --K
  6. Because I was wanting the more intense flavor of the wild berries. I've tried cooking with domesticated blueberries (tarts, and so forth) and the flavor is pretty bland. I even tried organic..... --K
  7. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I did notice that without adding water the puree was so thick that I could not get the blender to even blend it. But I'll try the different ideas that are posted here. Thanks! --Kris
  8. I tried to make a berry puree for my cheesecake. I used frozen berries, sugar and water and blended in a blender. The berry flavor was not intense -- seemed kinda watery even though I used little water. Does someone know how to do this? Thanks, Kris
  9. We had fresh baked jam-filled muffins (sour cream and butter as liquid - whole wheat pastry flour) which are rather biscuit-like in texture. Have to be careful, though - that jam is REALLY hot when they come out of the oven. Also some "italian-style" scrambled eggs (sauted minced garlic and fresh basil - add eggs, some pepper - top with fresh parmesan cheese). Also a side of sauted sliced honey ham.
  10. Thank you so much! I'd been spending a lot of time searching in vain for these things.
  11. I've been scouring the Internet to find pastry weights. Cooks Illustrated said they were the best thing to use with prebaked pie shells -- better than beans, rice, etc. But no one seems to have them for sale. Maybe I'm not using the right term for them? Do they have a more descriptive name than this?
  12. kalyson

    Butternut Squash

    I see I'm not alone in my butternut squash accident, although my very sharp knife went into my hand between my thumb and forefinger. Quite deep -- had to rush to emergency room. I was trying to cut it, but I had left the stem piece on and the knife got stuck, then suddenly released. I still love the darn things, but I'm a lot more careful.
  13. kalyson

    Bean Pots

    The Spanish Table pots are amazing and very reasonable and if I had to choose a good one or two, I'd probably start there. I cook on direct heat stovetop unless for some reason the pot is too hot and won't simmer and then I use a heat diffuser. I mostly use a cast iron disc but if I want something to really go low, I use the diffuser Wolfert described in her tagine cooking thread I cook beans a lot and find I cook about 1/2 a pound at a time and I reach for the smaller pots, not the bigger ones unless there's an event. Found it (Wolfert says: ): It really lowers the temperature but on my stove I find I rarely need it. The cast iron disc works fine and is less obtrusive but I'm glad I have the simmer mat. I'm not a "gentle " person and, knock wood, I haven't broken a pot yet despite what is now over a year of cooking on direct flame on the stovetop. ← I wonder why on the stovetop with a bean pot. Hmmmm..... I thought they were meant for the oven, but I'm no expert on bean pots. Do they come out differently on the stovetop, or are you just avoiding the heat the oven generates in the house?
  14. kalyson

    Bean Pots

    I've been going to the ranchogordo site and buying a bunch of beans and things. What a collection of beans! Overwhelming. Now all I have to do is find a nice bean pot to cook them in!
  15. kalyson

    Bean Pots

    Wow! Nice collection. Nice web site, too. --K
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