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  1. Thank you all for your suggestions. I also emailed the chef in charge of this competition. He's going to give us a little leeway as long as we follow standard baking procedures. We'll be experimenting tomorrow with using the deck oven, the convection on the lowest fan setting and on the bottom shelf, tenting with aluminum foil, and parbaking the crust. I also found the source recipe and rescaled it myself. I found some math errors that may account for a few of our more minor issues.
  2. That's exactly what we ended up doing, MelissaH.
  3. I've been making macarons for a few years with my students. We've always used parchment. I bought silicone mats specifically for macarons. They are marked for piping. We've had problems with them on these mats. Do you find you have to bake longer?
  4. Pies are my weakness, but I have high school students who are heading to a competition and we need to master this pie. The recipe comes from Gisslen's Professional Baking. The problem we've had is getting the crust to bake without overcooking the custard. We can't blind bake. The pie bakes for 15 minutes at 450 and then 30-40 minutes at 350. Because of the volume of competitors, the students will move their pie from one oven to another. This means they go immediately from 450 to 350 (actually lower since they're convection ovens) without the gradual lowering of the heat. This is the recipe the students are given: Pumpkin Pie Source: Professional Baking, Gisslen Dough Raw Material LB OZ Baker’s % Instruction Pastry Flour 8 100 Prepare by hand. Shortening, all purpose 5 60 Rub shortening and flour until dough forms small pieces Salt 0.15 (0.75 tsp) 1.87 Dissolve ingredients in water. Add to the above and fold over lightly until the liquid is absorbed. Water (cold) 3.5 40 TOTAL 16.5 Filling Pumpkin puree 12.25 Place the pumpkin in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Sift together the flour, spices, and salt. Add the flour mixture and sugar to the pumpkin. Mix at first speed until smooth and well blended. Avoid whipping air into the mix. Add the eggs and mix in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the machine to low speed. Gradually pour in the syrup, then the milk. Mix until evenly blended. Let the filling stand for 30 – 60 minutes. Stir the filling to remix. Fill the pie shell. Bake at 450˚F for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350˚F and bake until set, about 30 – 40 minutes more. Pastry flour 0.5 Cinnamon 0.06 (0.7 tsp) Nutmeg 0.125 tsp Ginger 0.125 tsp Cloves 0.125 tsp Salt 0.06 (0.33 tsp) Brown Sugar 5 Eggs 5 Corn syrup 1 Whole milk 10 TOTAL 2 2 Rest dough for half hour minimum. Prepare one 9” fluted pie shell from approximately 9 ounces of the pie dough Fill and bake as instructed above Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Margarita
  5. My favorite recipe for yellow crookneck uses the same technique as Jaymes. I don't add eggs, sour cream, or cheese though. We just use lots of butter, salt, & black pepper. Serve as a side with sliced tomatoes fresh from the garden. You don't even care what else is on the plate.
  6. I remembered the cooking time wrong. I made another last night and baked it for about 15 minutes.
  7. I made a key lime pie the other day and will be making another today. I used the recipe on the Nellie & Joe's bottle. I have for years because it's perfect. The proportions are 1/2 c juice, 3 egg yolks, and 1 can of condensed milk per pie. To take this pie to the next level, make your own graham cracker crust adding some nuts to the mix. The salty crunch is great with the sweet filling. I also baked it for closer to 22 minutes. Magi edited to add baking time
  8. All I know is that some days chocolate is very good for the health of those around me.
  9. I must admit that it's to the point that if I don't take home enough food for lunch the next day that I don't think I've received a good value for my money. This is limited to casual restaurants, but this is 95% of our eating out. I don't expect to take a doggie bag when I'm eating at a nicer restaurant.
  10. I love the Foods of the World series. My mother ordered them when I was a child, and I remember poring over them as they arrived and for years afterward. Two years ago, I accepted a position as a culinary teacher at a high school tech center. Shortly afterwards, my mother gifted me with the set. There were a few missing books, which I quickly replaced, and they definitely show their age, but now rest in my classroom library. My students use them as part of their research for their end of year project. They have to research, plan, prepare, and serve a meal from a specific country or region of the U.S. They come in very handy for this project.
  11. It's also used, for some odd reason, in high school level culinary arts competitions.
  12. Do you happen to remember who and where this is posted? I would be interested to read this. Sorry, I just saw this question. I just deleted it from Google reader a few weeks ago since it's been inactive for a while. I don't remember her name, but it was the woman from India in the first season.
  13. In one of the episodes, they did talk to Christine about what she could see. She's not completely blind in that everything is black. She can see shapes, shadows, light, and dark. It's still amazing how well she cooks and plates. I was very interested in this part because legally blind starts, I believe, at 20/400 non-correctable vision. My vision is 20/400 in one eye and 20/200 in the other, but I'm lucky in that it's correctable with glasses.
  14. Years ago, I was managing a small beach cafe. I had to be a jack of all trades as I never knew for sure who'd show up for work. One day I was filling in running food and drinks to the tables. I was carrying a tray of drinks when one of the top-heavy chocolate milkshakes tipped right over and down the back of the male customer at the table. Luckily he had a good sense of humor (& was just wearing swimming trunks and an old t-shirt) as he thanked me for the great back rub he got while I wiped the chocolate ice cream off his back and apologized profusely.
  15. In the first season one of the contestants kept a journal. She then posted the entries for each challenge the day after they aired. It was really interesting. Inbetween challenges, the contestants were put through workshops teaching them the techniques that home cooks might not have. For instance, they'd be taught how to trim and filet fish the week before a seafood challenge. They were also taught plating, if I recall correctly. The workshops were often led by one of the three judges. I don't know if they still do that because it's never mentioned on air, but I hope they do. This has become my favorite food-oriented show.
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