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Stephanie Brim

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Everything posted by Stephanie Brim

  1. Holy crap, I think I need one of those. Do they sell them in the US?
  2. I so need to do something like that for Alex's birthday. He was born on Halloween. Heh. His first birthday...such a huge deal.
  3. I often bake cheese sandwiches in the oven. Same preparation as a grilled cheese. It's how they did them in school for us, too, while I was growing up. Best way to make up a mess of them at one time. Served with tomato soup almost always, and sliced apples or pears in the fall. I, er, buy Kraft slices just for this purpose. Sometimes you just want the old stand-by from your youth. Lately, though, I like unsalted butter and a salty, sharp Cabot cheddar. Very tasty on homemade potato bread. In fact, I could make that tomorrow for lunch...
  4. A sundae is made by the ice cream that goes into it. If the ice cream is below par, the sundae will also be. Personally, if I was going to ask top pastry chefs from around the country to make me a freaking sundae, I'd allow them to use their own ice creams and figure out another way to showcase the Breyers branding. I really take offense to it in an unnecessary way, I suppose. But it's like giving them a prepared cake and telling them to decorate it as a challenge.
  5. But you would have been smarter to assume they'd show whatever drama they had over the cooking skills every single time, that's kind of a given if you've watched the show before. Im just saying you gave more and louder drama, including in the group shots, to the extent that they's have to rename it the Seth show in order to give a balanced portrait of you and show the good. Also it seems you didn't notice or care how badly disruptuve and negative your behaviour was, and that lack of respect towards the entire group/ show itself factored in as much as your health in their decison to let you go. If you hated it ll so much and it effected you so badly, why would you want to stay anyway? It appeared (at least at some moments) you were pretty contemptuous of the whole thing. Like you were shocked their was sponsors products to deal with, I had to wonder- had you ever seen the show before? The thing is...we're human. Human's don't always act rationally. When shit is going on in your life it can affect everything you do regardless of whether or not you want to act professionally. Considering that this was a culinary competition, I would've been quite miffed as well to know that I had to create a sundae with ice cream that wasn't my own. As a viewer, I would've liked to see what people would do with their own ice creams. As a company, I probably would've taken the opportunity to maybe, instead of making them use the flavors of ice cream we already had, create a new ice cream for the company that would be sold nation wide. That may have prompted more people who normally would have passed Breyers by completely (and that group includes me most of the time) to check it out. I actually have done this. Brands used on Top Chef have appeared in my kitchen just because seeing them used on the show prompted me to check it out. While I do think that, perhaps, Seth over-reacted, none of us were there and therefore haven't seen enough to really judge him for anything. Walk a mile in his shoes and all that. It's what I was taught as a girl. All that said, I wish all the contestants the best.
  6. I'm drooling. The Cauliflower Bacon Gratin sounds so good and I don't even really like that particular vegetable! May have to buy one and make a half recipe to see if it gives cauliflower a flavor I actually like. I'm buying this book as soon as I can get funds. Probably ordering next weekend. We need a few new dishes in the stable of recipes to cook now that we're eating more vegetables. Oh man, I'm so hungry now. Guess it's time to get started on the chicken strips, mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables that seem so blah in comparison now.
  7. I, uh, made brownies. I wasn't really that happy with the recipe I'd been using. I tweaked it, figured out what was wrong, and got it down. This is much better than I've been getting. It's the perfect combination of cakey and fudgey, has great chocolate flavor, and would be quite tasty with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top. Haagen Daaz, though, would do in a pinch. They don't look pretty, but looks never really mattered much to me.
  8. I forgot about this thread. I meant to respond ages ago. I prefer pie. Remembering back to my childhood, I asked for a cherry pie for my birthday (and got it) instead of a cake. My grandfather was the same way. I did make exceptions for chocolate-cherry cake with fudge frosting for a couple years, though. I still make that cake, though not the same way I did. Cake mixes don't belong in my house anymore. That said, I love baking cakes. I love frosting cakes. I love making cupcakes and frosting those. I love giving people cake and cupcakes. I love eating cupcakes at 11PM just warm out of the oven because I had to have *something* due to a chocolate craving. But I'd prefer pie. I just didn't have time to make crust, let it rest, roll it out, fill it, and bake it for an hour at that point in my day.
  9. What's your average weekly budget? Do you have a freezer that you can use to take care of things if you buy in bulk occasionally? If you do, you may just want to keep shopping around using the sales circulars for your local grocery stores. I frequently see chicken hind quarters on sale here for under $5 for ten pounds. Whole pork loins frequently go for $1.69-1.89 per pound as long as you buy the whole thing. Both of these are a great way to eat cheaply and can be broken down into smaller amounts and then frozen. I freeze the hindquarters in threes (three thigh-leg portions) and the pork roasts in two pound cuts. I use the bones from the ten pound bag of chicken to make stock. I always look for good deals on frozen produce and I get a paper every Sunday to use the coupons. When it comes to fresh produce I just buy what's in season or what's cheap and looks good; those two things tend to overlap most of the time, though. To get the good deals, I shop at both grocery stores in town and sometimes go out of my way to pick things that I prefer up. Though I hate to admit it, the only place I can go to get my favorite cheddar (Cabot Extra Sharp 2 pound block, by the way) is a Wal-Mart 20 miles away, but we go to Target for diapers and wipes and other such things in the same town so I just stop and pick up a couple blocks, cut into quarters, and bag and freeze. It works, and it saves me money over buying it here; the 8 ounce blocks here are $4.59 whereas the whole 2 pound block there is less than $7. Being a stay at home mom and living on one income, I've dealt with a lot of these things. Over the three months my husband was laid off, we ate very simply. Lots of eggs, frozen vegetables, mac & cheese made from the dregs of the cheese drawer. Not a whole lot was wasted. Now that he has a job at which he's making more than he was at the previous one (though not by much more than a few cents), we're doing fine, but we're getting off track as to budgeting. Getting us back on track is my project for the next couple of months and this is my plan for doing so. Tight budgets suck, but as long as you're willing to do a lot of your own stuff (baking your own bread, making stock, making your families treats and snacks) it really isn't that horrible of a thing to do. Interestingly enough, it can show you how little time it actually takes to do some of the things we take for granted when there's more money to go around. If you're really dead set on utilizing that program, though, I'd suggest sticking with the fruit and veggie package and maybe the meat packages. You're going to be pretty safe if you assume that nothing horrible is in those. I've been thinking of trying out one around here for a while, but haven't really had to do it money-wise yet. Then again, our gas bill come February kills us. Heh.
  10. I feel a lot better now because I can do that, too. Both regular and peanut butter Crunch is a real weakness of mine. I don't normally like cold cereal, but that and raisin bran are the only two I can actually stand. One thing that seems to have changed since I was a kid is Barnum's animal crackers. I used to love those and now...not so much. My daughter doesn't like them, either.
  11. The huge jar of pickles I bought while pregnant with my son comes to mind. I ate pickles every day for a week and told the husband that it would probably be much cheaper if we just picked up the big gallon jar at Sam's. Little did I know that they'd disgust me completely the next week. Really, I hadn't had a pickle spear since until I went with my sister to lunch last week and got one with my sandwich. Also, I have a huge amount of canned beans that I keep thinking I'll do something with yet I never do. I did open a can of red beans and a can of black beans recently, but the Great Northern and the garbanzos, though I love hummus, are just sitting. The garbanzos probably have something to do with the fact that tahini is an ingredient I can't find within 30 miles of this tiny town, but I have no excuse for the great northerns other than the fact that it is just now bean soup season. I've had them for a year or so, though, so that excuse doesn't really work. There's also some cheap hot chocolate that I got at an Aldi a year or so ago in an attempt to save money. It's awful, like I knew it would be, and therefore both cans of the stuff is sitting on the pantry shelves aging. I have a couple different kinds of beer sitting around that I probably won't drink or use. One is a blueberry lager that sounded good at the time but now I can't think of a damn thing it would go with. The other is an oatmeal stout that's actually pretty damn good, but I've had it for a year and it's probably gone to meet the beer gods by now as to taste (and, really, carbonation). Other than that, I can't really think of something I won't have use for. I do, however, have too much of a few things. Too much pasta, too many cans of Swanson beef broth, too much plain yellow mustard. Bah.
  12. Supposed to be breadsticks of the soft and squishy variety, but I didn't get the stuffed shells made that they were supposed to go with and, thus, this particular yeast dough has ended its life as sandwich rolls.
  13. Awesome! Thanks. I guess I'll be replacing the other whisk soon then.
  14. Will the 610 whisk work with the 600?
  15. Chocolate Chip Cookies. Recipe adapted from the Tollhouse recipe. My go-to. Always good, never fail. They seem to come out better when mixed by hand then by machine.
  16. Stephanie Brim

    Rice pudding

    I've not made it in a crock pot before. Interesting idea.
  17. Stephanie Brim

    Rice pudding

    Since it isn't cooked in the same way, nor do I use the right type of rice, I'm going to say no.
  18. I've made rice pudding twice in 24 hours now. So homey in a I-have-way-too-much-rice-and-need-to-use-it-up kind of a way. I realized that I've never made rice pudding completely from scratch for my husband last night while I was thinking about how many rice dishes I'm going to be able to make with the 5 pounds of Jasmine I bought this weekend. I decided to surprise him when he got home with a yummy treat: pudding made not from leftover rice but from raw. It's the way I prefer it so that the flavor of the pudding is actually well infused into the rice. It's also a good way to make sure that the rice doesn't get *too* mushy as I like a little bit of texture. Today I redid it with measurements so that I could actually see what I was doing. 1/2 cup rice, 2 1/4 cups 2% milk, 4 tabelspoons vanilla sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place in pan, stir a little, bring to simmer, turn heat to low, cook until rice is the proper texture and the mixture is thickened considerably. This took 40 minutes or so of slow, slow cooking. The resulting pudding was very tasty, though next time raisins and butter will probably be involved. Hubby has requested that I keep it on hand for breakfast. What do you do for rice pudding? I'm thinking that, if we're going to end up using it as a breakfast food, I should explore other flavors than cinnamon raisin. Maybe pumpkin? Vanilla almond? Savory spinach and parmesan? Black pepper and honey? White chocolate and raspberry?
  19. Stephanie Brim

    Dinner! 2010

    Yeah, that's what I always thought, too. Burrito it is. I'm thinking that I'll be buying some larger flour tortillas for tomorrow's and making some spicy rice with some of the leftover sauce to use as a foundation for the rest of the mix. Need to get more sour cream anyway since the hubby forgot mine at the store today. I think that I mean not traditional in the sense that I've never tried very hard to BE traditional with my Mexican cooking. I don't have a book to work from (though I'm thinking of getting one now that our Mexican population is large enough that we have a small store that stocks imported goods) and I just work from flavor profiles.
  20. Prep on weekends. I do this occasionally. If there's anything that can be chopped, par-cooked, boiled, sauteed ahead of time without a huge drop in quality, that's the way to go. Prep meat that needs to be cut into pieces when it's bought. I tend to do this. I freeze pound and pound and a half packages of prepped chicken, pork and beef for fajitas, stir fries, or casseroles and then freeze in separate quart sized bags. You have a rice cooker so this one probably isn't as much for you, but pre-cooked rice freezes well. I don't do it often, but when I have extra it's a way of keeping it good for another time. I tend to keep soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice wine, sriracha (now, anyway) sweet red pepper sauce, balsamic, rice, and apple cider vinegars, tomato paste, cans of tuna, canned beans, dried beans, pasta, and tomato sauce (home canned or commercial, your pick), and all the spices my cupboard can hold. I keep eggs, milk, and a relatively large selection of cheese in the fridge. There's always a good stash of frozen meats and veg in the deep freeze. I could eat for a couple weeks without buying anything if I wanted, and cook it all in 30 minutes. As to specific things? Steak sandwiches are something I go for when I need to be quick. Main dish salads as well. Pasta with any kind of sauce that takes less than 30 minutes to cook. Chicken and gravy over rice. Baked potato bar (cook 3-4 minutes in micro, then finish in oven). Risotto would actually work, though that's a lot of standing and stirring and wouldn't be too appealing after a full day's work. Breakfast for dinner. Stove top mac & whatever (because you can do more with elbows than just put cheese sauce over them). Main dish pasta salads. Elaborating on the chicken gravy over rice is...somewhat embarrassing, though I don't really make it the way my mother did anymore. Can of cream of chicken, can of mushrooms, cup of milk, can of chicken. Warm. Serve over white rice. Now I make my own gravy with chicken stock or broth (whichever I have on hand at the time as, with two small kids, stock gets made once in a blue moon around here anymore). Brown the chicken in about a tablespoon of butter. Brown chicken in butter. Remove from pan. Add two more tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons (or so) of flour. Cook the roux to medium-blond or so. Add 1.5 cups chicken stock. Simmer until thickened. Put chicken back in pan. Add a dash (quarter cup of so) of cream for richness if you desire, otherwise leave as is. Warm through. Serve with rice, pasta, or potatoes, bread, and a green veggie on the side. You can season the chicken, and thus the resulting dish, with about any type of spices and herbs you find appetizing. You can saute the mushrooms after you've finished the chicken. You can add other veggies. You can keep it as a plain chicken gravy with chicken chunks. You can simmer the chicken in the gravy until almost falling apart if you actually have time (it's great, by the way). It's a down to earth, homey meal, much like Jewish Pennicillin from a non-Jewish household. Heh.
  21. Stephanie Brim

    Dinner! 2010

    Spicy Chicken and Black Beans Because I couldn't think of anything else to call it. I didn't know whether to put it in the Regrettable Food thread because of how it looks or here, but the flavor is spicy and delicious so I figure it deserves being in this one. I threw this together because I wanted tacos tonight, but not the typical ground meat, pre-packaged seasoning, and cheap cheese/lettuce/sour cream fixings we normally have. In there is a mix of chicken thigh meat, black beans, tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper (roasted from a can, though), garlic, ancho chile, and spices including a little cinnamon, some cumin, some coriander, paprika, cayenne, and salt and pepper...plus a secret mix I use instead of taco packets, generally. These will be served with just a little lettuce, some thinly sliced white onion, a few black olives, and crema on flour tortillas. Not traditional by any means, nor is it anything I'd serve to my Mexican neighbors, but it hits the spot tonight. Maybe, though, they should be called burritos instead of tacos. Or just spicy meat and beans wrapped in a tortilla. Someone can correct me if they want. I don't know what to classify it as. Sure is good, though.
  22. I make something similar to that all the time because it's one way to get my husband to eat broccoli. I've found that my creamy vegetable soup is another, but that's beside the point. Set broccoli, cut into florets, to steam lightly. Salt and pepper about a pound to a pound and a half of bite-sized chicken chunks. I use boneless skinless breast most of the time, but I've done it with really well trimmed boneless thigh meat as well. Brown in butter and set aside. I tend to then add another three tablespoons of butter to the pan and 1/4 cup of flour. I cook this to blond or just slightly darker for more flavor. Then I add a total of 16 ounces of milk, preferably whole, to the roux. Cook until thick. Combine chicken and broccoli, pour roux over, and check for seasoning. Pour into a casserole dish and top with bread crumbs mixed with parmesan and a little butter. Bake at 350 until heated through and the bread crumbs are crispy. We eat it with salad or, strangely, potatoes. Or both. Some people put cheese in the sauce. I like swiss, a quarter of a pound of really good stuff is all you really need. I've also used chicken or vegetable broth and cream instead of milk in the sauce for a slightly different flavor, and with that I use no cheese except for a bit of parmesan. I tend to add a little sage and rosemary to that version, too. Putting it in pastry like a pot pie is also another interesting variation, and I add a lot of parmesan to that one. I'd throw the whole recipe, with notes, in Recipe Gullet, but I'm sure a variation is already there. Heh.
  23. I go to Jimmy John's *because* they play the kind of music that I like. It helps that the sandwiches are always very good. Occasionally I'm going somewhere and eating alone. It's nice to have good music playing in those instances that isn't something akin to elevator music. I'll hit the bookstore deli or Wheatsfield in Ames if I want a quiet place I can sit and read a book. If it's a fine dining establishment, though, I think the music should reflect that. If the kitchen wants to listen to rock, more power to them...just make sure it isn't loud enough to make it to the diners.
  24. I used to do that with the lovely 'fake cheese in a can' stuff...but can't anymore. Just so that people will still eat at my house, I also don't stick spoons I've licked back into the pots I'm cooking with. I rinse it off.
  25. Ganache, any type of frosting, peanut butter, cookie dough, cake batter, dill pickle juice (when I was a kid, I used to deliberately put extra juice on the plate of dill pickle chips I had as a snack after school and I'd drink it when I'd finished the pickles), ice cream, any kind of sauce I'm making while cooking...yeah, you get the idea. I'm a spoon licker. Nothing is safe around me.
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