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Everything posted by KarenDW

  1. These shears from Lee Valley Tools come apart for cleaning. They are about $25 CDN. I've used them with both right and left hand, although for a very small hand the handle spread can be a bit awkward.
  2. Interesting method listed. I would use about 1 tbsp of gelatin, max. Bloom in 1/2 cup of cold water, heat until the gelatin dissolves, then set aside to cool before mixing with the cream. Or, more simple... pick up an envelope of Dr. Oeteker's Whip-it, which is a crystalized stabilizer and needs no dissolving. Gelatin seems rather optional to this recipe, though. Beat egg yolks until lemony. Beat in bailey's. Temper into the melted chocolate. [possibly, return to double boiler and heat to 140ºF? to please the USDA food safety police] Whip cream until soft peaks form. The gelatin will serve to stabilize the cream. Fold (cooled) chocolate mixture into cream. Distribute to moulds. Chill or freeze.
  3. Or, perhaps the fuel-usage is optimized by using for both cooking and heating. Slow-cooking methods would have been developed to take advantage of lower temperature coals from a standing fire. (i.e., an evolution from spit roasting over open flame)
  4. In my region (Vancouver, BC), grape tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant and cucumbers are grown under glass, nearly year-round. My favourite is Origin, a moderately sized organic operation, located about 10 miles from my home, and marketed under the OriginO brand. Windset Farms brand of greenhouse produce is also widely available here. The taste is in the "good to very good" range, when compared to the pale "field" tomatoes from Mexico.
  5. As long as you like the flavor of both styles of ham (plain or spiral cut), the results would still be tasty. My (limited) experience has been that there is no difference in the taste, unless the packing brine is seasoned differently.
  6. KarenDW

    Miniature Quiches

    Crustless version, baked in silicon molds for easy release, could also provide a menu option for the no-wheat-please guests.
  7. KarenDW

    Miniature Quiches

    My heart sank, just a little, when I read this post. For the reasons you stated, I generally use pre-made pastry for mini-tarts of any sort. Is there nothing available which would meet your needs? On those occasions where I have made the pastry for tiny tarts, the best results have come from a pressed pastry, rather than a rolled one. I scoop the dough into the cups, then press w/ a dough tamper. I didn't bother w/ weights, but pierced the surface (not quite throught) w/ a fork. But then, I only made 8 dozen...
  8. I like to use the cheap plastic storage containers w/ the blue lids for prep bowls: - they usually have graduated measures marked on them - the square shape makes efficient use of counter space - they have lids, so for extensive mess-in-place the items can be stacked (i.e., in recipe groupings) As for actual storage... as someone who reheats in the microwave... I prefer the glass containers w/ a "lockable" plastic lid. Then I don't have to worry about what's happening to my container when I am reheating last night's tomato sauce for today's omelette. But, my clients seem to prefer the cheapest white plastic w/ blue lid containers, if only because they fit into the freezer nicely.
  9. My B-I-L absolutely LOVES his point-n-shoot infrared thermometer. He spent at least a week running around taking the temperature of everything. He also liked the tape measure with a small light in the case. Which brings to mind the need for a ruler in the kitchen. Something washable... like a dressmaking ruler, but smaller. I'm a fan of gift cards, though.
  10. and smoked paprika. and dried shitaki or portabello mushrooms (more flavor than fresh...)
  11. Except that there is still the issue of some employees who are not going to take the legal high road... young workers, new citizens to BC with language challenges, people who really need that job, etc. The challenge is that some workers will not take the legal route to be paid, because the workers believe that they will be unfairly discriminated against by potential employers.
  12. My DH claims to prefer brand name butter, but complains about the price every time he shops ($5.50/lb in our neighbourhood). The generic stuff is about $3.75, and I can't tell the difference in most dishes.
  13. That book was an important tome when I was growing up Crown Jewel Dessert seems to ring a bell.
  14. I've been using my big darkroom trays for this, but you're right, those bus tubs are the bomb. I need to pick up a couple. Even better if you also get the lids for the bus bins. Then they can stack
  15. Sorry to hear your news, Randi. I find it tough working in the not-for-profit sector. especially w/r/t serving low-income seniors, vs. working professionals. Best of luck with your next move.
  16. I keep a silicon scraper nearby, and use it on my hands before washing. Or, dip hands into some flour... there's flour around, 'cos I'm baking..., and rub hands together over the garbage can. Most of the dough bits will fall off.
  17. I also have small-ish sinks; double sink, but neither is large enough to put an 8" pan into So, if there is a seriously prep-intensive cooking day, I run some hot water & soap into a small basin, and set it on a chair (!) in a convenient location. Any sticky, gooey (but not greasy or doughy) dishes are pitched into the basin. We are blessed with both a dishwasher and a disposer. "regular" dishes are rinsed and put into the dishwasher periodically throughout the mise. Yes, I do mise into bowls; my favorites are the bowls with measures on them (pampered chef), and lids. Before I start actually "cooking", I try and get the cutting boards into the d/w, and wash, dry and put away the knives and other blades. If the dishwasher is "nearly full", I might add a few dinner plates, so that they are hot when dinner is ready
  18. For drying, I usually harvest the sprigs, then set on a rack to dry. The individual leaves should break off quite easily. This method also has worked well with oregano.
  19. What about borrowing someone else's oven... neighbor? nearby family member? Or, can you use the kitchen at a nearby community center or church?
  20. Along the theme of shopping... is it possible to go together? Some time ago, when my children were young, I reached a point of menu planning burn-out. This situation coincided with some relationship and work issues. To resolve, my then-partner and I opted to start grocery shopping together. Without children in tow, we did not need to rush. The $5 (per hour) babysitter was a worthy investment in time spent together, once a week. By shopping together, we also ended up planning some meals together, and by default, dividing the actual work of cooking. I love to cook, but I'm not so good at planning ahead...
  21. Next month, for the first time EVER, I am getting some beef from the herd which grazes near my old house (11 miles away). I have had to negotiate the use of freezer space from a friend. And, am glad that my daughter (who named the cows as we would walk past the pasture) no longer lives with me.
  22. I usually try to hire someone however, for stocks, sauces and such, where the presence of the leaf is not important, I either a) use the whole sprigs and strain out/remove with tongs, or b ) put several sprigs into a teabag, then remove after cooking. or, freeze. The leaves will fall off in due time.
  23. Each year, a group of us embarks upon the 10-mile, 10-day challenge, in Richmond, BC, Canada. I would post a link to the most recent newspaper article, but am unable to find in a Google search. Anyways, we each choose up to 5 items "from far away", then source everything else uber-locally. This year, I was able to eat all sorts of veggies produced within a stone's throw of my front door. I live in the heart of the city of Vancouver, and we have only one working farm remaining within the city limits. But I grew carrots, spinach, onions, oodles of herbs, and some edible flowers, at a community garden nearby. Eggs, berreis and potatoes were pretty easy to find. But, due to government regulations, it's hard to purchase any meat or poultry which is grown locally. Most [of the few] producers have a 30-40 lb minimum, which would over-fill my freezer. If I extend to 100 miles, I can certainly source nearly everything for a day-to-day meal. Except coffee or beer (because the hops and yeast have to come from "somewhere"). We have many food manufacturers and converters in this region. But many are processing foods which come from far away. I am not willing to give up such things as spices, salt, oils, coffee, spirits, chocolate. But I do give mindful consideration to how and where I purchase, or otherwise procure, that which I consume, not limited to food.
  24. Just cooking butter, garlic, and onions will bring them all to the kitchen. Even at breakfast. But that's pretty much all they can agree on. The various daughters have such disparate and acute likes and dislikes, that I rarely have them all to dinner unless it's a Special Family-day type meal.
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