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Everything posted by della206

  1. Does anybody know where to get vanilla baking chips? I found a recipe called "kitchen sink cookies" on allrecipes.com and have looked in several places but can't find them. Most people think I mean white chocolate and at first I though maybe the recipe author meant that, but she mentions them in more than one place. I even went to a cookie specialty store that sells nothing but cookie cutters, decorating supplies, etc. and she didn't know. The site isn't set up so you can message another member. From the looks of the reviews, people just wildly improvised with this recipe, making all kinds of substitutions according to their whims, anyway, and that's probably what I'll end up doing, but I'd like to get the vanilla chips if I can. None of the reviewers mentioned the difficulty of obtaining vanilla chips. I'm expanding my cookie repetoire, which was always pretty big, because I go to blues dances on Thursday nights and they let me in free if I bring food. So far one of the best new ones I've tried is triple chocolate chip from the Williams -Sonoma baking cookbook, which my cousin gave me for Christmas.
  2. The pumpkin pie recipe from the Libby's can and the 5 Minute fudge recipe from Carnation milk are good ones. Although when they say "5 minute" they mean actual cooking time, not including the time measuring things, chopping nuts, etc.
  3. There's definitely a good chocolate cake on the back of the Hershey's cocoa can, if it's the one that calls for boiling water. It's almost as easy as a mix. I discovered it in the eighties and seldom make any other chocolate cake.
  4. Trader Joe's often gives samples of things made from their mixes and convenience foods and only rarely do I buy those. I often get ideas for things to make from scratch. I often have samples when I'm in there for something else, like milk. Sometimes I make a mental note in case it's something I might want later. I do get coffee from TJ's even when I'm not buying anything, I'm ashamed to say. They do have samples every day, and so does CostCo. QFC only does it on weekends, but it's usually something really good,like steak, or else a new product they're trying to interest people in.
  5. Just my mother--cornbread, potato soup, chocolate chip cookies, country gravy, fruit pies, potato salad. She was basically a midwestern farm cook--simple middle American meat-and-potato menus, nothing too sophisticated, and even bland by some peoples' standards. I envy the person who learned to cut up a chicken. By the time I was born, my mother had stopped doing a lot of the farm wife stuff like baking bread, having a big garden, putting up jams and jellies and things like that, so I didn't learn as much as she did from her mother.
  6. I sort of combined a recipe from a pasta cookbook by Flora and Robert Alda(Alan's dad)and a recipe from Parade magazine. I lot of times I will do that when I make something new--look up 3 or 4 recipes and take the features I like best from each. Naturally you don't do this for something like chiffon pie where precise measurements are important. But I've cooked enough that I usually have a feel for what will work. Capers, anchovies and red pepper flakes do seem to be a common denominator for this one though. They all have colorful stories for how the recipe came to be called that. One says that prostitutes did not go out to do their marketing when respectable women were out, so they invented a recipe that doesn't call for a lot of fresh ingredients. On the Savage Nation, Savage claimed that they believed in the antiseptic properties of the garlic.
  7. We've had a spell of cold, snowy weather and I hope that it doesn't prevent guests from getting here. But this year I'm getting a turkey from the CO-OP so it should be extra good. I discovered a recipe a few years ago for a rub made of olive oil, herbs, etc that makes it good. I use the simple bread stuffing from Good Housekeeping cookbook. I'm making a cranberry sauce from Better Homes and Gardens. It has port wine and raspberries that give it bright crimson color. I'm trying a mashed potato recipe I found on allrecipes.com. I make buttermilk rolls from a recipe in Fannie Farmer. I make giblet gravy. For the vegetable I'm having brussels sprouts with some lemon pepper on them. I'll probably be the only who will eat them. I make pumpkin pie from the Libby's recipe and serve it with real whipped cream. I got some cheap wine at Trader Joe's (no, not Charles Shaw, but almost that cheap. This one has surfboard and woodie drawing on the label, not very Thanksgivingy, but very Traders Joes-ey.)I will probably be the only one to drink that too. The others are pretty much teetotallers.
  8. That King Arthur flour book is pretty darn good.
  9. I have a can of artichoke hearts I got because they were marked down. I use them in pasta salad but it didn't occur to me that I usually use marinated ones. I will probably use them eventually.
  10. Just making Hollandaise is enough for me. Come to think of it, that's something I've only done once, and am not in a hurry to do again.
  11. My favorite is the Robin Hood Flour cookbooklets, probably because they are the only Canadian cookbooks I own. I don't know if Robin Hood flour even exists any more, or if it was regional brand. There is a good black bottom pie recipe which I can post if anybody's interested.
  12. My friend who likes British cuisine usually wants goose at Christmas. I warn people that it's dark, fatty and gamey compared to supermarket turkey. You will have an ocean of grease, which you can save and use for frying and stuff if you want, but you need to skim it off before making gravy or whatever. I use the same stuffing I would for turkey and the same accompaniments. Score the bird with a sharp knife before roasting and prick it with a fork from time to time during roasting.
  13. You can get fairly good deals(maybe $3 and something a pound) just before Christmas here if you don't mind frozen. They come from place in South Dakota. When I lived in Montana, Hutterite(Anabaptist, our version of Amish)farmers would come around and sell them. People said you could get even better quality if you went to their farms. This was back in the eighties.
  14. Yes, shooting one of those is probably illegal, even when they're pooping all over the parks and beaches.
  15. I've never had the Julia Child book either, but since seeing the movie, would like to get it. Personally, life got a lot better when I decided to use readymade frosting. I also use canned pumpkin for pumpkin pie.
  16. Yeah, that steamed pudding business was daunting for me at fist, too. (The culprit was that same friend who like British cuisine.)But now I'm used to it and see it as a way of using up stuff like bread crumbs and fruitcake leftovers. When you think about it, it's really just a fruitcake that's steamed instead of baked. I got a good recipe from an Australian site called Food Down Under. I also realized that I'd been steaming my chocolate bread pudding without realizing it, but it wasn't as intimidating because they didn't use terms like "pudding basin" and you didn't have to run all over town finding suet.
  17. I decided to make cute little tea sandwiches with cookie cutters for a going-away party. First of all, I failed to consider that you need to work really fast or the bread dries out. Then I had a bunch of leftover bread pieces. I think I made bread pudding or used it for french toast for myself. Still. The same happens with melon balling. You have mutilated melons left that you eat by yourself. Now I have friend who always wants me to make toad-in-the-hole. I did the first step,which is make yorkshire pudding. I was hoping that might be enough to please him. He likes British cuisine. He likes anything in pie crust. What is this deal with making pie out of everything?
  18. A few pieces of china and a set of French salt and pepper shakers that my great-grandfather brought from a trip to Europe in the early 1900s. A crystal sugar bowl that another grandfather had when he was homesteading on an island, probably about 100 years ago. I have a Ryzon baking powder cookbook of my grandmother's from the World War I era. I have lots of stuff from the World War II era that my mother had, including a Watkins spice cookbook, a set of Pyrex mixing bowls and a rotary beater. These things get used frequently. I have a few pieces of speckled Melmac I remember her buying in the late fifties, and I remember the circumstances--she needed some more dishes for a big hay crew. That Ryzon cookbook never gets used. The sugar bowl gets used a lot, and the china is brought out on special occasions. There is another dish with roses on it that I occasionally use for candy but am a little concerned that it might have lead paint on it. Unfortunately I no longer have a hutch or a big enough apartment to display these treasures. I forgot to mention some demitasse spoons that a family friend gave my grandmother.(The little buggers always need to be polished.) This woman had an embarrassment of dishes and stuff and often gave some of it to my mother or grandmother. My mother says that she had dishes with pictures of fish for serving fish, etc. I let an angel food cake cutter go to my cousin when I was cleaning a storage unit. It was probably Grandma's or something--it had a pretty green handle, but I don't like angel food cake. At least it stayed in the family. Since I am an only child more things funneled down to me. There are seven of them, so it's good to spread it around.
  19. Gas stoves are a problem. Of course I like them much better than electric, but if you move them the supposedly flexible hose breaks and you have a gas leak and somebody has to come an repair it. I found this out when I was clean in g my last apartment to get the deposit back. I don't know how anybody gets those things clean enough to get their deposits back. right now there is a bunch of dust, cat kibbles and other filth under there but I don't dare move it.
  20. della206

    Green bell peppers

    Wow, it's amazing how many people don't like them. I have to admit that they are practically a staple in my crisper. When I was growing up in Montana, green bells were the only kind readily available in stores. It was really too cold to grow your own. My mother's boyfriend used to complain about the cost but I notice he never complained about the cost of beer and cigarettes. They are a good source of vitamin C. I use them in sups, sauces, salads,stews and sandwich fillings.(Try them in tuna salad.) When one is about to go bad, I use it up in eggs. I use up all kinds of leftovers in eggs. A few diced pieces are also a good way to season green beans or other cooked vegetables. Now yellow, orange and red ones seem to be more readily available at reasonable prices, but when they used to be expensive, I would watch for them to be cheap, then chop the up and freeze them. If you freeze a whole one, you have a tough, mushy mess. Of course the farmers' market is a good place to expand your pepper repertoire. Alvarez Family farms from Mabton WA is a favorite of mine. Try a chocolate pepper some time.
  21. Should tahini be refrigerated after opening? The can doesn't say.
  22. Probably lately the compost keeper, especially in hot weather.
  23. della206

    July 4 celebrations

    Well, it was two days ago and I'm still eating leftovers. I made guacamole to serve with red white and blue chips from Trader Joe's. Also homeade lemonade and sun tea(although the sun didn't really shine)I had hamburgers made from a recipe("Outdoor Burgers") in BHG cookbook(the one with the red gingham cover), Hebrew National hotdogs and also tofu pups for vegetarians. I made coleslaw(Susan's coleslaw from Good Housekeeping cookbook) and tried a new herbed potato salad from a booklet of recipes and coupons that came in the mail from QFC. For dessert I made a red, white and blue jello parfait that I got from a recipe in Parade Magazine(I think, might have USA Weekend)) that was a hit last year so I decided to make it again. A friend got me a big bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin the days before and I drank a fair amount of it while I was cooking. It rained here so I ended up cooking on the front porch and we ate inside.We watched The Last of the Mohicans afterwards.
  24. I used to like Robin Hood flour when I was in Canada. But that was in the seventies. I especially like the cookbooklets, and still use a Black bottom pie recipe from one. I preferred the Canadian way of packaging some things, for example a pound of butter in paper instead of individual quarters in a box. Fred Meyer and occasionally Trader Joe's will sell it that way here.
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