Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by billieboy

  1. Since my wife passed on I have become a pretty good cook and I have learned what is good and what is not. I buy so little processed food that I can almost say "never"

    My wife did not bake nor did my Mother so I have had little experience in home-baked goodies (until recently thanks to Dorie Greenspan)

    A while ago I invited a neighbour over for some stew and she brought with her some biscuits warm right out of the oven. They were fabulous. I asked if she could teach me to make them. With much amusement she told me the recipe was right on the back of the Bisquick box.

  2. Just an update. The World Peace cookies were also a success. It is just wonderful that a complete baking newbie could have all these first-time successes. A credit to a great, well tested cookbook.

    One serious complaint about the Applesauce Spice Bars though. The book states they will last 3 days at room temperature. Hell, they never made it through the afternoon. Second time was as good as the first, so it was not a fluke. Hey Mom! I can bake :laugh:

  3. I have never, ever baked a thing in my life but because of this thread I purchased Dorie's book and also Sherry Yard's "Secrets of Baking" which I have not looked at yet so cannot comment.

    I have tried two things from Dorie's book. The peanut butter cookies and Applesauce spice bars. Both were a resounding success. I am now the hero of my senior's apt. bldg and suddenly have a lot of friends :laugh:

    Thank you Dorie and all who have participated in this thread. BTW, I have read each and every post while waiting for the book to arrive.

    I now feel confident to try more involved baking. Again thank you Dorie. :wub:


  4. So, I've been making quick-pickled red onions for immediate use, sliced into strips and marinated in a vinegar brine just until they change color.

    Can I keep these for longer than a couple of days? Is there another, similar red onion pickle recipe that lasts a little longer? It'd be nice to have a jar of crunchy, tart, pungent onions to put on sandwiches or what-have-you.

    How long does an opened jar of pickles last in the fridge....forever. The onions are in vinegar, same as the pickles. The only thing extra in the pickles will likely be citric acid which is there to increase the acidity. Vinegar does that. Relax and enjoy.

  5. I'm planning on going to a Chinese supermarket later today to pick up the basic staples I'll need for cooking from this cookbook. However, I left my copy at work and won't have access to it until Monday. If you own it, could you please reply (or PM me) with a list of the basic ingredients needed? She has a page toward the front of her ingredient guide that says something like, "these are the basic ingredients needed for the recipes in this book," and then lists about 8-10 things. Please save me an extra trip to the bookstore! Thanks!

    Soy sauce (light and dark)

    Sichuan chili bean paste

    dried chilies

    whole Sichuan peppper

    fermented black beans

    Chinkiang or Black Chinese vinegar

    sesame oil

    Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry

    a few spices (cassia bark and star anise will do to start with)

    potato flour or corn starch

    fresh ginger, garlic and scallions

    salt, pepper and white sugar (which you are likely to have in your kitchen anyway)

    Useful extras: pickled chili paste, sweet bean paste, Tianjin preserved vegetable, pickled mustard greens, dried mushrooms, dried cloud ears, brown sugar.

    From page53

    Hope this is what you need.


  6. Haven't seen it yet but I'm already ordering a couple of books so maybe I'll toss it in the cart and check it out if it's that good.

    I am glad you started this thread. That book is right near the top of my "Must Buy" list.

    I will be interested in the replies.

  7. But Chinese-Americans do not eat the Americanized food that is served at the average Chinese restaurant in America. That food is an adaptation designed for mainstream American palates. It is, I believe, more properly called "American Chinese" cuisine.

    I've created topics several times similar to Utenya's here, but using FatGuy's conclusion that the Chinese food in America is something that's been "dumbed down", (or, "Americanized") to please American tastes by the Chinese people who are cooking it in restaurants.

    So I've always wanted to know (and have asked several times) if this means that in France, the Chinese food there is "Frenchified" to be more appealing to French tastes. While this could be something much (much) simpler than the concept of "fusion", it has always struck me that it could be culinary bonanza.

    Why, just imagine if the Chinese chefs who found themselves in France eventually resorted to thinking "We'd better throw some Foie Gras in here, or nobody will eat it!"

    However, for as many times as I've been in France (and Italy, for that matter), I have never wanted to give up the opportunity for a French (or Italian) meal to check this out first hand.

    I seem to remember that eventually in one thread where I posed this, I got the answers from Gulletteers that the "Chinese" food in other Western countries is as terrible in it's own way as "American Chinese" food is here.

    But I'm still hoping that some day somebody'll post the story of going for Chinese food in France, and finding it "Frenchified" to please the local tastes. One can dream.

    It is my understanding that Chinese rarely eat dairy products. Can you imagine a French meal without cream and cheese :biggrin:

  8. Recently there was an expose of olive oils, and I am guessing that some really low-price super-market brands are not only not EV, but may not be all olive oil, either, so I would be wary of those, although I don't have a clue how you could tell.


    Tell us more. Inquiring minds want to know!


    Forgive me for jumping in


    If you google olive oil fraud you will find alot.

    The Canadian one (CBC) names names.

  9. I think Anna hit it on the head.

    Your granny was likely a great cook (everybody's was) and she had a drawerful of recipe cards for a good reason. She needed to refer to them too.

    Don't beat yourself up.

    If people like your food.....you are a good cook.

  10. I wonder if anyone has thoughts they'd like to share on "Eat Right for Your Blood Type"? in relationship to dieting/nutrition. I don't remember it having actual recipes, but it did have a lot of interesting points about what suits people's body types, and why, and what's more likely to be healthy for them.

    I don't know if he has the answer, but I think he is on the right track.

    We all have different make-ups. Some can eat anything they want and never gain a pound, others...well you know.

    This might help


    Hope I'm not preaching :wink:

  11. Am I the only person who thinks a decently sharpened regular chef's knife does a better job of cutting bread than a serrated knife? Fewer crumbs, less tearing, cleaner-looking slices. I'm not a gifted sharpener of knives. I don't have Takeda knives sharpened to 7-degree angles. I just have regular, decently sharp Euro knives (Wusthof, Sabatier et al.). But I find they consistently do a better job slicing bread than my serrated knives.

    I agree. Gave up on bread knives a long time ago. My 8" chef does it just fine. One less thing to store.

  12. I have a "kinda" sharpening question... I have some knives that I used a Chefs choice 110 on.But only to do a touch up on the edges, not the rotary grind thing.

    Anyway, there is an unsightly 3/8" or so area along the bottom edge of the blade that is marked from the vibrating ceramic things...The edges are fine , and I dont use the 110 any more, but is there any way to clean up the unsightly area that the thing left on the blades????It is not affecting the edge , but looks crappy.

    I was thinking maybe some 2000 wet or dry paper glued to a chunk of wood to clean it up??

    any. comments would be appreciated from the knife experts...


    What will work for you is a 4000 - 6000 grit waterstone, however they are expensive as hell. You could buy a good knife for that money,

    However, places that sell to woodcarvers like Lee Valley, have very small waterstones meant for small carving chisels. They are called slips.

    A few minutes with one of those and your knife will look like a mirror.

  13. Thanks, everyone!  I'm really excited to give this a try, and hope to have a fair amount of reading under my belt before fruit rolls out this summer.  I have this paranoia of screwing it up or contaminating the whole batch... any tips from personal canning experience?  Caveats?

    I have not made jams, but have done a ton of savory and pickled things. Follow the Bernardin (Ball Blue book in the USA) instructions for safety and you will not kill yourself.

    You can fool around with sugar and salt and substitute foodstuffs but NOT repeat NOT!!! with the acid/food ratio

    Like most of us, you are probably allergic to Botulism :wink:

    Oh also, there is a new book not yet released which interests me. "The Farmer's Wife book of Canning"

  14. I have bought this (Combo 4):


    works great, a friend of mine that is a chef has bought one for his home as well, results are as good as in his restaurant. Now either he has a rubbish restaurant, or sous vide magic works well ;) I think the latter.

    It looks very nice and I would love to have it, however, by the time I got it up to Canada, with shipping and taxes and exchange, it would be about $700CDN. Very much out of my price range.

    I will put it on my next year's Christmas wish list :biggrin:

  15. Thank you Judiu.

    The cream cheese ones do not interest me, but two of them are with cheddar (my weakness)

    I wonder if the other ingredients are necessary...Evaporated milk, mayo etc.

    I think I will try shredding up a pound, mix in the peppers and physically press it back into a brick.

    If all else fails, use brute force :biggrin:

  16. I love living in this small town, but I sure do miss the availability of some ingredients that I could get in The Big Smoke (AKA Toronto)

    One of the things I miss is jalapeno cheddar cheese.

    I was wondering if I could make it?

    Melt down a lb of cheese and mix chopped peppers in it.

    Pour into a mold to get the block shape back and refrigerate.

    Would I ruin $8 or 9 worth of cheese?

    Would the texture/taste be completely ruined?


  17. I think it's simply because white pepper is more easily available in China and became the standard ingredient.

    It is also different in taste to black pepper, and is preferred by many, if not most, Chinese cooks.

    There is also a preference for white on aesthetic grounds. Many people don't like to see black specks in their dishes.

    Thank you. Makes perfect sense.

    What a wonderful site this is. Ask a question about Chinese food and a gentleman from China answers you. :wub:


  • Create New...