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Posts posted by KarenDW

  1. For simplicity's sake, I "make" fresh breadcrumbs whenever we're near the end of the loaf, and pop the crumbs into the freezer in a heavy reusable bag. If I want/need "dry, fine crumbs" for a coating, then I can dry out the crumbs in the (countertop) oven for a few minutes, while prepping the rest of the recipe.

    Some folks may want to avoid using a plastic bag for enviro-reasons. But in this case, using a reclosable bag facilitates keeping the air out, which, in turn, decreases the formation of ice crystals during storage.

  2. Hi Rick.

    I'll admit to having a lot of confusion after reading several cookware threads, too :unsure: You mention that you are married. Take a hint from my "dear husband", and remember that any other cooks in the house should also get a test drive of the new cookware! It doesn't matter how good the "brand" is, if your spouse's hand doesn't fit the handle of the pan. Or course, the partner who does the majority of the cooking probably gets to make the ultimate choice. Do keep in mind that things change over time, and that sometimes kitchen roles also change :)

    Following your link (to costco), it's difficult for me to tell which pans you have chosen. IMHO, replacing your entire cupboard at once might not be necessary :) The Calaphon set looks to be quite complete for everyday work, with the addition of the pressure-cooker outfit. I would also add some sort of griddle, especially if you can find one which is also suitable for an outdoor grill. We have a Calaphon griddle which has been wonderfully multi-purposeful.

    Best of luck with your decision!

  3. The Braun Multimix is a good thing, if you can find one in your price range (at a yard sale, etc.) it's a handle with removable parts: an immersion blender, egg beater and 1 cup food processor.

    (edited for spelling)

    I second this recommendation! The multimix is my go-to appliance for a variety of prep. Processor attachment is definitely a good nut chopper. Makes good breadcrumbs, too. Easy to clean (dishwasher!), and lightweight.

  4. would it be a better idea flavor wise if i mixed actual beef stock with bouillon cubes and water? or should i just go water and bouillon cubes. that could save me a little bit, but id

    Better than Bouillon could probably work for your needs. $8 for a jar of concentrate which will make about 15L/quarts of stock.

    I regularly cook meals for 100 with a budget of about $300.

    If you are able to do cash-and-carry/cash sales pick up at a foodservice supplier, you will be fine!

    In your budgeting, what cut of beef are you using? You could probably use bottom round, and cut across the grain. With enough advance notice, maybe your local butcher can arrange for a discount, and will even cut it up for you. (worth every penny, IMHO).

    What are you doing for refrigeration?

  5. For a "beginning cook", the only practical use for scales, which I can support, would be for portion control :)

    So, if your friend can pick up an inexpensive scale, he could purchase foods in bulk (i.e., a larger package of meat), then divide into portions, wrap and freeze. And be able to cook dinner without having to think, too much, about shopping.

  6. Our community garden closed in December, and so my "farm" is now limited to the 200 sq. ft. balcony. In our building, we are not allowed to attach anything to the outside, so no hanging planters, etc., unless I have floor standing hooks.

    The chard is very happy, and is sprouting new shoots from where I cut it 2 weeks ago.

    A bit early for us to plant anything outside, but Seedy Saturday is in only a month!

  7. I then had enjoyable conversation and a poor breakfast with Rabbi Josh. The pastries at Cafe Lalo looked terrific, and I know from experience that they are, but I couldn't eat any. Instead I had a paltry, overpriced, out-of-season fruit platter and a cup of tea. Rabbi Josh had scrambled eggs with goat cheese and avocado, which looked amazing.

    could you not have ordered an egg white omelette with NO SALT?

    Each year I spend 10 days eating only what is GROWN within 10 miles of my home (downtown Vancouver). I have 5 "exceptions", which usually include basics like salt, coffee, olive oil, rice, milk. My preference is to focus on what IS available and yummy, rather than on what is on the "no fly list".

    You will find many options.

    But I agree. Eating out is a challenge. For 10 days, I usually only eat out once or twice, compared to the 4 or 5 meals I would typically eat out.

  8. For beginning cooks, using American recipes, it's helpful to have a range of measuring cups and spoons, plus the clear one for liquids. Pyrex is also good for heating small amounts of food, melting butter, etc., in the microwave. I have the Norpro set of cups and spoons. It was $10.

    11.44 for a can opener?! You gotta be shittin' me. Just get one at the supermarket. Can't be over 3 bucks.

    I truly appreciate my high-end can opener. It's the best "righty/lefty-friendly" model I've tried.

    oh, and ditto MIG's cookie sheet recommendation.

    If your friend is willing to spend a little more money at some point, then a countertop convection oven/toaster oven (about $150), is very handy for cooking for 1 or 2. I've roasted chickens and vegetables, baked cookies, baked a loaf of bread...

  9. Never was comfortable with Amex, and not many independant merchants will accept it here.

    I hear that the merchant fees for Amex are a bit higher than Visa or Mastercard, so smaller businesses choose not to accept Amex as payment. Also, many trade organizations (ie., chamber of commerce) offer a discount for Visa/Mastercard, but not Amex,

  10. I frequently purchase for clients from Costco

    * instant mashed potatoes. The "blue box" brand (sorry, don't recall the name) contains only potatoes, salt and butter.

    * shaped pasta (organic)

    * milk. $3.90 for 4L jug

    * whipping cream

    * butter. $3.49 for lb/445 gm

    * cheeses

    * free range eggs

    * tinned tomatoes. $2.99 for a 2.5 kg can (100 oz)

    * tea bags

    * unbleached flour, 50 lb sack for $20

    For home, we pick up raw almonds, some personal care items, gift cards for the theatre, office supplies.

    I have an Airmiles AmEx, and purchased the "executive" level of membership, which comes with a rebate based on purchases. The 2009 rebate was $125; membership was $100 (I think).

  11. A thought on the chicken... are you thinking ground, or shredded? Ground might be "faster", although shredded tastes better :)

    These quantities should give you generous servings

    100 gms (3 oz) of chicken per person (40 x 100 gms = 4 kg, or just over 1 3/4 lbs/1 lb, 12 oz)

    200 gms of pork shoulder per person (40 x 100 gms = 8 kg, or about 3 3/4 lbs (3 lbs, 12 oz) [since the shoulder shrinks]

    5 lbs of rice

    1 quart of salsa

    4 lbs of chips

    2-3 tortillas each, if they are about 6"

    Last time, I warmed the tortillas, wrapped in foil packages of 2 dozen, in the oven. Then served in a pre-heated ceramic casserole dish w/ a lid (don't heat the lid!) A chafing dish would possibly also work...

  12. I assume that this is the correct thread for this? :shock: Good Lord. The commercial is hilarious - people just demolishing eggs all over their counters and stoves. This is something that NO ONE would buy for themselves, but that someone would buy for a cook thinking (or NOT thinking) "what a cool tool"!

    obviously I need one of those... about as much as I need the RSI from squeezing the handles :)

  13. Wow. I am impressed by the various methods of inventory.

    We currently have one 5 cu. ft. chest freezer which contains ONLY ice packs. Said freezer is for storing "ready meals" which are being picked up by clients. It's taking a lot of my (personal) energy to prevent DH from filling w/ ice cream.

    The "home" freezer is 6 cu ft. upright freezer.

    Top shelf: various berry freezer jams, about 6 x 1 cup bags

    2nd shelf: strawberries, raspberries, sour cherries, about 2 lbs of each

    3rd shelf: ravioli, boneless chicken breasts, trim from a tenderloin, 1 qt bag of chicken salad

    4th shelf: 1 lb of meatloaf

    bottom shelf: empty (previously contained ice packs mentioned above)

    There is also a freezer in the bottom of my fridge, which contains

    several bags of herbs and pestos

    several bags of stock-making veg trim, and diced veg for quick meals

    2 cup bag of lemon simple syrup (the last batch went mouldy in the fridge)

    medical ice packs, and the ice-maker

    2lbs of frozen cherries, purchased when I had forgotten that I already had 5 lbs of sour cherries, picked by my friends from an abandoned tree... :blink:

    assorted single servings of sauces...

  14. Do you have a freezer in your fridge? Mine is quite large, about 2.5 cu ft. So, if I have a bit of veg which "needs using" and no immediate need... I chop into 1/4" dice, and freeze in a heavyweight freezer zip-bag. Then, when I want 2 tbsp of chopped peppers for an omlette or something, it's ready & waiting for me. The same method is applied to tomatoes, onions, herbs, leeks, kale, etc., although rarely tender greens. Making soup doesn't get much easier!

  15. So I have 10 pounds of chicken hindquarters in my large pot. I stirred the pot because I kinda started with frozen pieces, which was probably my mistake as I had everything pretty well packed, and now my chicken pieces are floating half out of the water. No idea how to keep them in other than using a lid that's a couple inches smaller than the top of the stock pot...but it makes skimming difficult.


    Any suggestions? And the metal strainer won't work. All I have is a hand one.

    My sister usually puts everything into a cloth mesh bag or cheesecloth before setting into the stockpot. Not too tightly packed, otherwise the core stays cold far longer... The whole business is easy to remove at the end of the simmering time, and a good portion of the "scum" sticks to the cloth.

    We don't bother skimming. Pour the stock into wide-mouth jars to cool, and the fat rises into the bottle neck for easy removal.

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