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Posts posted by KarenDW

  1. I heard from the other cooks that no one buys real whipped cream( unless its thanksgiving or xmas)

    I suppose that in some places, the fake stuff is cheaper, although my experiences has been that cool whip costs more than real cream from Costco.

  2. silicon oven gloves would work for taking the jars out... also the water-resistant, heat-resistant industrial gloves. You can use them for handling hot pot handles, too.

    I often just use a towel in the bottom of whatever pot is tall enough (stock pot for big jars, saucepan for the "artisan" shaped ones). There is also a set of racks distributed by the Bernardin company, which includes circular racks in 2 sizes, with removeable handles. Racks can double as cake cooling racks. The handles are small enough to be single-purpose, in my mind.

  3. my basic technique is:

    cook cauliflower with minimal water, sometimes in microwave, to just pre-tender.

    make sauce "medium" thickness

    transfer cauli to baking dish, pour sauce over

    add cheese, breadcrumbs, butter.

    bake uncovered

    Always works. If I'm in a real hurry... I just use heavy cream instead of bechamel.

  4. not so much related to the method, but...

    our kitchen accommodates guests with various food sensitivities (nuts, dairy), so pesto is always basil, garlic and oil, with seeds standing in for the pine nuts. If making ahead for freezing, I leave out the cheese, too, in case we need to re-purpose the pesto in a dairy-free dish.

    But always with a food processor or blender. Because that's what we have.

  5. Randi.

    You have a lot of great skills, and have been responding to feedback from your guests in planning the menus. And staying within the budget constraints. Good for you for keeping all those notes!

    Best to you w/ the meeting on Thursday. I have a meeting w/ one of my bosses, too... in regards to a change in my compensation for the Community Meal.

    Btw, not that this is really relevant, but she just stood around and watched me in the kitchen. She never helped at all(the other coordinators do dishes and help clean up).

    SO relevant, actually. Did the new person even speak to you while she watched? It would be interesting to see what is in the Job Description for the coordinator, as well as what is in your Job Description (as pertains to menu and budgeting)

  6. So: Do I have any decent options that would only be a short detour off of my route? Next time we'll be driving up after work and staying in North Vancouver--anything there, or a short drive from 1?  Or maybe I'm not seeing the best way to get from Richmond to north of Vancouver

    If you take I5 from Seattle, then continue on Hwy 99 north of the border, Richmond is only about 20 minutes north. Then, after your dinner stop, return to Hwy 99 across the Oak St. bridge and through Vancouver. Depending upon what time "after work" is, you will likely miss the bulk of commuter traffic by the time you have finished dinner.

    PM if you'd like further travel details.

    As for food, I know not.

  7. ^ Indeed. On a recent flight,  folks across the aisle from me were enjoying a Bahn mi between them and various other goodies (while I watched enviously while snacking on Pringles and beer).

    Next time, I'm packing a picnic!

    I like Pringles and beer :biggrin:

  8. I work for a Community Meal program in the Vancouver region. Among the ways to contribute:

    (a) cut a cheque to the food sharing program of your choice

    (b) contribute part of your garden harvest to the food bank, or a food sharing/gleaning program

    © commit to putting items into the Food Bank drop box at your grocery store

    (d) ask at your Chamber of Commerce or community bureau about Christmas hampers

    (e) if you have a commercial kitchen, make some preserves for Christmas hampers

    (f) sell your excess harvest at a local farmers' market or pocket market, and donate the proceeds to a soup kitchen or food sharing project

    (g) take toiletries, serviceable towels, and NEW socks to the nearest rescue mission or street kids' shelter

  9. I made that french toast casserole for my catering job (is that where you found it?).  My seniors would NEVER go for breakfast for dinner. 

    Yup, I got the idea from your catering thread (blush). And, we had a lot of bread donated from a local bakery. I was REALLY worried that the Community Dinner people would have "issues" with breakfast for dinner. The pre-emptive move was to make a wonderful fruit salad... they raved about that, and didn't say much about the french toast. A few people made positive comments. :biggrin: No one complained.

    OTOH, if I make a pork dish with no other protein alternatives, people leave :wacko: Even if I have "veggie burgers". Just goes to show...

  10. They enjoyed the chicken and dumplings, but wanted to know why they didnt get any rolls.  The dumplings were added after this pic was taken.  Its just refridgerated biscuit dough thats cut into strips.  They just didnt understand the concept.


    I am often asked the same... although no-one asked for rolls when I served Paula Deen's French Toast Casserole for dinner :wink:

    One guest commented about our Turkey Pot Pie... that unless there was actual pastry on top, it was not "pie". I had used bread stuffing for the topping. Oh well.

    Good to hear you've had your food budget increased! Yay. I'm gonna say the 50 cents can made a big difference. Are you getting much local produce yet? We have a group who are farming just to donate to food sharing projects here

  11. but it's hard to beat a picnic lunch put together from what you find there (bread from Terra, charcouterie goodies from Oyama - known as 'Oh Yummy's at my household))

    Breakfast! Bagels, coffee from JJ Roasters, fruit salad, outside on the Mound between the Hotel and Performance Works.

    Then pack a picnic lunch, and then head to Lynn Canyon park in North Vancouver. It is a 1 hour Transit Ride from Granville Island, including the Seabus across Burrard Inlet. Or, two busses from Stanley Park. Great suspension bridge; nice easy hiking trails, free :-)

  12. Hi,

    I have a friend who has two Fisher Paykel drawer diswashers.  Another significant advantage is that one drawer is always available while the other drawer is awaiting repair parts.



    If I buy the Hobart I can put my kids and dogs through it, right? They can hold their breath for 90 seconds. :wink:

    We've used the Hobart for washing potatoes (50 lbs!) and carrots. Just remember to rinse again before cooking & eating!

    The FP (and other) drawers are not large enough for platters & baking pans (i.e., half size bun pans). A "tall" maytag, on the other hand, has a top shelf which can be adjusted in height. Ditto for one or two of the Kenmore models.

    If you have space, get two dw. When you have the cash, replace one w/ a Hobart. But remember that the electric bill might change. Check w/ the supplier as to average energy and water usage. I think the Hobart uses less water overall...

  13. in some regions where there is higher humidity and lower ambient temperatures, a problem could develop w/ mould. So, processing would be beneficial. I process anything which is going to be given away or sold (i.e., incorporated into a client's meal), just as an extra measure of safety.

    In decades of canning and preserving... I've only had a few jars spoil; spoilage was obvious (mould), and the jars in question had not been hot water bath processed.

    The sugar in the jam should act as a preservative. But for "jam", you will likely need to cook the mixture again w/ more pectin. Open one jar and decide whether you like the consistency :smile:

  14. Just catching up on this thread...

    Exactly - you can always add salt, but you can't take it away. If you regularly cook savoury and sweet dishes, then you only need one type of butter in your fridge and that's unsalted.

    Gives you more control, and fewer ingredients necessary, therefore the question should be, "Why would you not buy unsalted butter and add the salt later?"

    because of the $$? Unsalted butter costs about $1/pound more here... My choice has been to buy one of a couple of brands of salted butter for day to day use, and taste it before I use in a new recipe. For "fancy" baking, or clients, I use unsalted.

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