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Everything posted by blue_dolphin

  1. I use the Instant Pot a little more often. I find my Anova easier to use.
  2. Woman with freezer full of overripe bananas dies never having made banana bread
  3. I am so, so sorry! A number of years ago, I participated in a research study that required eating a very low fat diet. No cheese was allowed. It was a major struggle in the beginning but by the end of it, I had some good ideas for substitutes. Plus, they provided all the food and paid me $1000 so there was that 🙃 You have all my best wishes in finding tasty foods that entertain your cheese taste buds and I hope that at some point there may be an opportunity to reintroduce an occasional morsel of cheese.
  4. @CatIsHungry, I used to make gift baskets of homemade goodies every year. I usually had a couple of sizes of baskets depending on family size. Go with sizes that you can pack full so they don't look skimpy. I recommend using shallower baskets so almost everything can be visible. I used to buy them over the course of the year when I saw a good price and pull them out of my stash at the holidays. I think you've got plenty of things on your list but I agree with @kayb that a loaf of quick bread or pound cake makes a nice centerpiece. And they do fill up space if that is your concern. I saw that you don't have time for bread but you can even doctor up a cake mix into a nice lemon poppy seed pound cake and bake off 6 small loaves from one box. Something to keep in mind if you need last-minute space-fillers. If you don't have cello bags or wraps for everything, you can use snack or sandwich size zip top bags and just put the zip side down, out of sight in the basket. With the number of things you've got on your list, you don't need to give everyone a ton of everything, just a few. Think of those commercial gift baskets - the sizes of stuff they put in there are positively minuscule. I'm sure anything you put together will be much more generous than that stuff!
  5. I remember when purchasing cheeses, including Red Hawk, at the Cowgirl Creamery shop at the Ferry Building, I was asked when I planned on serving them and they selected specimens that would be ready. I had a couple of parties in mind and they kindly separated the cheeses that I needed to set aside for the event that was a week later.
  6. I made butternut squash triangoli today using a filling from Evan Funke's recent book American Sfoglino. The dough includes some stone-ground spelt flour, hence the darker color. I was expecting to tweak the filling to temper the sweetness of the squash but when I tasted it, I was pleasantly surprised with the intensity of the squash flavor so I used it as is. I don't know that anyone's looked at this thread in years, and I already posted over in the Winter Squash cook-off thread but I though I'd share it here, too. I can't find an online source for the recipe in the book, but paraphrased, it is: Butternut Squash Filling, he specifies the yield as about 1 QT One 3-lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed Kosher salt 1 stick unsalted butter 2 fresh sage leaves Cook the squash in salted water until tender, drain and purée until smooth Melt the butter in a skillet until bubbly, add the sage leaves and cook a min or so until they are fragrant Add the squash and salt to taste. Stir constantly for ~ 15 min, until thickened. He specifies to avoid sticking and caramelization on the bottom of the pan. Cool completely and remove sage leaves before using. I roasted the squash (which I neglected to weigh) instead of boiling and used a much more modest amount of butter (which I neglected to measure). My cook time was a bit less than the specified 15 min. It was quite thick and had reduced to about half the original volume of purée when I took it off the heat. I would describe it as rich, intense and sweet, in that order. Nothing was needed to temper the sweetness. Because they taste quite rich, next time I think I'll serve them on a bed of sautéed greens. Funke recommends briefly blanching filled pasta (just until they float) before refrigerating or freezing to avoid moist fillings from making the dough tacky. I did this but haven't cooked any of them to see how they fare. The ones I cooked directly after making had a nice, rich texture and flavor.
  7. Here's my take on Evan Funke's Triangoli di Zucca con Burro e Salvia (triangoli with squash, butter & sage) from his recent book, American Sfoglino The filling was a surprise to me. I expected to add something extra (ham, goat cheese, gorgonzola?) to boost the flavor and temper the sweetness of the squash but when I tasted it, I loved the intense squash flavors and skipped any other additions. The recipe says to boil the squash until tender, purée it, then cook it with butter and a couple of sage leaves, stirring constantly until it thickens. I roasted butternut squash and used rather less butter than he specifies, cooking it down until it reduced to ~ half the original volume. Edited to add that I posted the recipe for the butternut squash filling over here. The book uses an egg pasta dough, I went with an egg, bread flour and stone ground wheat dough using whole grain, stone ground spelt from Marc Vetri's Mastering Pasta. I thought this slightly more chewy pasta would be a good contrast to the smooth squash filling. 2.5" pasta squares with the squash filling: Triangoli: Plated with the sage and brown butter sauce and my additions of toasted hazelnuts and gorgonzola dolce
  8. I think we got Raquel beans in the spring shipment last year (2018) Any chance you could have had them that long? Edited to add that this doesn't confirm that you aren't delusional, @Shelby, but does suggest your sense of time may be a bit off 🤣
  9. It does absolutely look light and airy. Crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Really delightful. I'm sorry if that's not the case but I still think you may be too harsh on yourself and I appreciate your sharing the whole process!
  10. You think that's shameful? I beg to differ and would happily devour some of it!
  11. I ordered this pot, the Cook N Home one that @mgaretz pictured above. It was $25 when I ordered yesterday, $35 now. The description says it's induction compatible. When I searched for the above pot, this Khun-Rikon pot which looks very similar to the Sur La Table pot also came up. The description indicates that it works for induction and users confirm this in comments and reviews. I liked the idea of the pour spout on that one but I went for the cheaper and slightly larger one.
  12. The TJ's Reserve Brut Rosé North Coast Sparkling wine that makes its appearance around the holidays every year was in my local store yesterday, along with it's non-rosé sibling for the usual $9.99/bottle. I'm partial to the rosé and still have some of last year's hoard left. I will stock up on the new stuff, drink bubbles with abandon and cart bottles to all sorts of gatherings until it disappears from the stores when I will begin hoarding again. If you enjoy dry sparkling wines, it's surely worth a try. I've heard TJ's staff speculate that it's a Schramsberg product. I wouldn't know how to verify that but Schramsberg is a favorite of mine and the TJ's certainly tastes like something in their price range, 2-3X more than they're selling this for. And you won't find many methode champenoise sparklers for this price. Edited to add that the label says it's a blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier. Last year, they also had a Platinum Reserve Brut sparkler for $14.99. I thought it was excellent, but I didn't find it head and shoulders above the regular Reserve. I haven't seen that one yet but if it turns up, I'll devote some more serious study to it...
  13. blue_dolphin

    Breakfast 2019

    I object, on principle, to running both my oven and the AC at the same time. It was 77°F at 5 AM so I pulled some dough out of the fridge and let it and the oven warm up while I went out for my morning walk before it got too hot. When I got home, I put together an old favorite combination of ingredients - pesto, red onion, bell, red bell pepper, shrimp and feta on some of the whole grain al taglio dough from Mastering Pizza.
  14. blue_dolphin


    Somehow I gave away all my popsicles. It was 97°F here yesterday and it's currently 96°F. Clearly, something had to be done. Out to the lime tree to pick some early specimens and turn them into these Lime Pie Pops: The recipe for these is from Fany Gerson's Paletas. They are supposed to be coated in graham cracker crumbs. That may or may not happen before I bag them up.
  15. Finally pulled out my Paragon. I've been using this recipe for homemade whole milk ricotta-like cheese. Holding the temp @ ~ 185°F for 20 min after adding the acid does seem to improve the yield but was fiddly for me to do without overshooting, which resulted in a dry and less creamy cheese. What a pleasure it was to just set the temp, add the acid when it beeped and then let it go! Nice yield and perfect texture! I'd planned to keep this thing out in the garage but I think I may want it close by!
  16. I had a roommate who could fold fitted sheets into exactly the same size rectangle as the flat sheets. He also loved to iron and vacuum. I often regret not marrying him.
  17. I was worried this deal was too good to be true but I got a shipping notice for my VP215 yesterday so it's getting closer to reality! It's coming via UPS and supposedly will be delivered this coming Friday afternoon. I asked to have it left at the back door - I could only choose from a drop-down, not enter any comments. Fingers crossed! My combo pack of 3 mil bags from Vacuumsealersunlimited arrived yesterday!
  18. I use my blendtec quite often. Getting the smaller and ridiculously overpriced Twister jars certainly increased my usage. I got this one and a smaller one they're not currently offering on some kind of a deal. Those jars and the spatula that comes with should be part of the original equip.
  19. This week's episode is a road trip to Tijuana with Victor Delgado and Jorge Alvarez-Tostado, owners of Tacos 1986, now in downtown LA. The Times article includes a recipe for their Tacos al Hongo, vegan mushroom tacos and salsa macha.
  20. I don't have a Vitamin but I've used my Blendtec to make the classic Gordon Ramsay broccoli soup recipe as written and with various other vegetables. It absolutely lets beautiful vegetables shine. Fresh sugar snap peas were particularly nice. If you've got lovely peas, I'm sure this would make a lovely soup of them, too. I wouldn't try it with any veg that are old, tired or otherwise sub par.
  21. This recipe turned up on Food52 not long ago: The Best Gluten-Free Pasta Recipe, According to a Chef It uses a LOT of egg yolks!
  22. Today's lunch was a veggie pizza al taglio. Crust recipe from Marc Vetri's Mastering Pizza. 20% whole grain, stone ground spelt flour, 20% Italian 00 pizza flour and 60% Gold Medal bread flour. The spelt was an intentional experiment, the Italian flour was only added because I ran out of bread flour and it was Gold Medal only because the store was out of King Arthur bread flour. Thanks to @Duvel for posting the link to the video up thread. I practiced the over-the-arm dough transfer shown in the video with a towel first and it worked like a charm with the dough. Much better than the way I had been doing it. Toppings: tomato sauce (passata + salt and a little olive oil), gold cherry tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, kalamata olives, red onion, mozzarella & a little Parm. More mozz was added at the half way point.
  23. blue_dolphin

    Lunch 2019

    Veggie pizza al taglio
  24. Wow, that apple kugel looks amazing, @shain! Cinnamon Spice Cake from Odette Williams's Simple Cake. The kindle version of this book is currently $2.99 on amazon.com but not amazon.ca It's all spelt flour with olive oil, applesauce and milk and the usual baking suspects. I used Penzy's pie spice in lieu of cinnamon and nutmeg but forgot the orange zest. I was concerned that it would be heavy but it's a very light, flavorful snack cake, perfect with a cup of coffee. I made a half recipe in a 9 x 9" pan, so it's a little thinner that it would be if one baked the full recipe in the 9 x 13" pan called for but perfect for cutting into smaller squares and eating out of hand. The crumb is light and tender. Moist but not at all wet. The book gives options for adding walnuts, pecans or ginger and allspice, dusting with confectioners's sugar, or brushing with melted butter and cinnamon sugar (calling them cinnamon donut cakes), frosting with cream cheese frosting or serving warm with caramel sauce and ice cream. She also gives time and size options for baking in a round pan, individual mini Bundts or cupcake tins.
  25. The Kindle version of Odette William's book Simple Cake has been at $2.99 for a while on amazon.com (sadly, not on amazon.ca) The recipes are indeed simple although she gives a lot of variations for most of the recipes. It's been the book of the month for the Food52 baking cookbook club and has been very well received. I made the Cinnamon Spice Cake (posted over here) and was very pleased with the result.
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