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About Toliver

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    Bakersfield, California

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  1. Iron Chef Gauntlet

    Alton himself would likely lower the bar that he's judged against. After all, the man tours with puppets.
  2. Interesting but useless if you already have knife skills and a good chef's knife. There's a video of it, sort of in action, on Amazon, but it failed to sell me on the thingy.
  3. I cringe when I see someone use a chef's knife to slice a pie (as recently witnessed on the Food Network). All I can think about is the edge dulling with every stroke against the pie pan/casserole dish. My mom received a metal spatula from her mother-in-law (my paternal grandmother) after she married my father. It looks like this spatula (but this version is no where near the same quality as my mom's original spatula...they don't make 'em like they used to). She uses the spatula every time she cooks in her cast iron skillet and it is the cutting tool she uses for 13x9 cakes, pies, fudge, lasagna's, etc. First slice of pie goes to the chef/baker because it usually won't be pretty.
  4. Murray Farms is one of the more well known family farms in the Bakersfield area. They ship a lot of their cherries overseas (I've heard Japan specifically mentioned). I am not surprised they cost more...they're quality cherries. Grimway Farms is another local family farm that specializes in growing the ubiquitous "baby" carrots. It's a name many people will recognize from the produce section of their US grocery stores. They were the ones that started the baby carrot craze. edited to clarify
  5. The Air Fryer topic

    When we have warm-weather family BBQ's, my sister-in-law got the brilliant idea to fry french fries using a plug-in table-top deep fryer out on a table on the patio while my brothers did their BBQ thing. The nice thing about frying outdoors is that the smell of old grease doesn't linger in the kitchen/house, cleanup is easy and it doesn't heat up the house. Winner winner, chicken dinner!
  6. I'm not trying to be an asshat but I received my local grocery ads yesterday and my local Albertson's has organic cauliflower at $1.69US/lb. I don't blame you for passing your cauliflower by...
  7. I am not a fan of brown rice (in the past when I made it, it always reminded me of oatmeal, which I didn't want at dinner time). Then I tried Trader Joe's frozen Brown Rice. It's not as "cereal-ish" as the brown rice I had in the past. It does have some chew to it though it reminds me quite a bit of regular white rice, so I can't say how authentic it is. It's insanely easy to prepare...3 minutes in the microwave to heat it up. Sure it's a "cheat" because it's not from scratch but at least it's better for me (fiber-wise) than just plain white rice.
  8. I like the idea of heating it to make it more malleable. Perhaps adding a little corn syrup to improve its liquidity/spreadability? The pinwheel method with chopped walnuts sounds brilliant. All this talk of dates reminds me of Dateland, Arizona. It used to be a tourist attraction off the interstate on the way to Phoenix (there's a shop there today selling date-related goods). Once in a blue moon, my family would stop there and get date shakes to stave off the heat of the day when traveling during the summer in a car without air conditioning.
  9. My mom would make Rice Pudding (yes, with raisins ) with leftover rice. Though once she took Chinese cooking lessons, leftover rice became fried rice. I'd eat either one, happily.
  10. Aldi

    "8 Things You Don't Know About Aldi, Straight From an Insider Employee" I noticed this Aldi's trait before Californians passed the "Ban the Plastic Grocery Bag" law. "Whatdya mean I have to buy grocery bags and then pack my own groceries?!" Aldi's was the first grocery store I'd been to where, at checkout, the employee at the register sat down to do their job. I liked that they have the same policy as Trader Joe's about refunds.
  11. Not that I have potato pancakes on the brain but I just stumbled across this recipe for "Potato Cake Benedict" on the Pioneer Woman web site that calls for 3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes. I haven't tried the recipe but I think I would miss not having the English Muffin involved somehow.
  12. @Shelby I was concerned about your garden...I heard parts of Kansas got some serious rain/flooding and hail yesterday. I hope all is well where you are!
  13. Thomas' English Muffins

    Is nothing sacred? "This New Thomas' English Muffin Flavor Is Certifiably Bonkers" They lost me at soy-based bacon. On the bright side, there's a link at the end of the article mentioning sandwich-sized English muffins which sound good. Now to locate them...
  14. Crowd-pleasing desserts

    This recipe is a little Sandra Lee-ish/Paula Deen-ish but people really enjoy it: "Next-Best-Thing-To-Robert-Redford Pie" You can, of course, use real whipped cream instead of the fake stuff, as well as make your own puddings if you're so inclined. It's made in a 13x9 pan so it isn't really a pie. It tastes very, very good. I'll either grate some dark chocolate on top or use a veggie peeler to make chocolate curls for topping it. My mom used chocolate jimmies once but fair warning...jimmies bleed brown! Then my sister-in-law riffed off this same dessert by leaving out the two pudding mixes completely and instead uses a layer of sliced strawberries (when in season) mixed with that ubiquitous strawberry glaze you can find in grocery stores (they usually stock it near the strawberries in the produce section). You can top it off with sliced strawberries to make it look pretty. This strawberry version tastes exactly like the strawberry pie you get at Marie Callender's. It's incredibly good. My s-i-l also made a peach version using diced up canned peaches and the peach glaze you find in the store when they're in season. It was good but not as tasty as the strawberry version. Sometimes my mom will make both versions, the original and the strawberry, for potlucks. Needless to say, they go quickly. And because I spoke her name I will also mention that Paula Deen's "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding" is insanely good and is easy to make. Again, you can make your own whipped cream and pudding if you're so inclined. But it's super easy to make and people swoon over it. The one suggestion I would make would be to use something like Fruit Fresh on the bananas before putting them into the dessert. If you don't and there are leftovers, the bananas tend to oxidize and turn color. And now I believe I have to go out into my front yard and swing a chicken over my head three times to prevent Paula Deen from manifesting again.
  15. Golden fried Cauliflower?

    Regarding the cooking method used in the Roasted Cauliflower discussion, I found that if you cook the cauliflower at a slightly lower temperature (350°F) and for a longer time (at least 30 minutes), the cauliflower starts to take on a yellowish color. I wouldn't call it golden, but it's definitely not white when you take it out of the oven. YMMV.