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mara44's Profile

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My Cookies Melted?!

Well it sounds like too much butter to flour ratio to me, or oven temp not correct. Most likely too much butter. Are you using a different kind of butter, something with a blend of oil? Leaving the dough in the fridge should not be an issue at all.

1 day ago
mara44 in Home Cooking

What kind of giftable quick bread or simple cake would you bake in these?

I'm crushing on these paper bundt pans. I'm thinking Chocolate rum cake, chocolate marble, red velvet, or cinnamon streusel coffee cake.

Dec 17, 2014
mara44 in Home Cooking

Christmas Dinner: in charge of turkey and ham and mashed potato -- but traveling 5 hours to get there, arriving just 2 hours before scheduled dinner time

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-ove... I like to use Challah bread. I cook on Holidays and know how stressful it can get. The more that done earlier when you travel with the food the better off you are.

Dec 17, 2014
mara44 in Home Cooking

Christmas Dinner: in charge of turkey and ham and mashed potato -- but traveling 5 hours to get there, arriving just 2 hours before scheduled dinner time

Don't forget to let us all know how it went. Happy cooking.

Dec 16, 2014
mara44 in Home Cooking

Christmas Dinner: in charge of turkey and ham and mashed potato -- but traveling 5 hours to get there, arriving just 2 hours before scheduled dinner time

I would not freeze the mashed potatoes. I would take them in a pan, and put the pan in the cooler with ice. If your concerned about the potatoes peel and cook leave whole/cut and mash when you get there. Making the gravy in advance is much easier on you and your time. I do it all the time. Bobby Flay gave me this tip. Also, I would consider an easy Christmas breakfast like baked french toast, cinnamon rolls, egg strata made in advance breakfast sandwiches and juice bottles to go that you could take with you if you are tired or, running late. Sounds like you are already committed to this task. You can take up future holiday dinners with the family after you get through this one.

Dec 16, 2014
mara44 in Home Cooking

Christmas Dinner: in charge of turkey and ham and mashed potato -- but traveling 5 hours to get there, arriving just 2 hours before scheduled dinner time

I was informed by a chef to never under cook poultry. Cook the turkey and it all the way, maybe on or by Dec. 23 and slice it, freeze it. Make the gravy early too and freeze it. Just go ahead and make the mashed potatoes as you would and reheat with adding a little more milk and some butter, be careful when reheating on stove. Watch and stir on low heat. Reheat turkey with a splash of chicken broth covered in foil. Take the ham (sliced) and cook it there in the crock pot, or in a bag in the oven. Reheat gravy in a pot add broth as needed. Stir up with a whisk. Carefully transport everything covered to stay cold, keeping turkey and gravy frozen and in coolers with ice. Make Christmas eve a relaxing family time is my suggestion if you can. I have transported meat and hour away and did my best to keep it hot, and that's difficult. You can do it, just keep it all cool.

Dec 16, 2014
mara44 in Home Cooking

Pumpkin Pie-first time making/too many recipe options!

I second that. Costco pumpkin pie is just okay. Nothing like a pumpkin pie baking in your own oven, and the joy of eating the end results. Much better to make your own.

Nov 20, 2014
mara44 in Home Cooking

Making Mozzarella in a Bread Machine?

I would be concerned about my bread machine. My dough cycle does not kneed very long. You could stress your machine. Do you have a kitchen aid? I would not risk it unless you can easily replace it.

Nov 17, 2014
mara44 in Home Cooking

Turn a pudding into a cake?

Hey, some recipes are trial and error, and then success. I always add more chocolate to a chocolate cake recipe. Standard recipes do not have enough chocolate taste. I like adding melted semi-sweet chocolate. But you did make due with what you had, and that's what cooks do.

Nov 17, 2014
mara44 in Home Cooking
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Make-ahead appetizers / snacks to be served at room temp for 25, including vegetarians

I was thinking of making homemade pretzels with a hot cheese dip for our family Thanksgiving appetizer.

Nov 17, 2014
mara44 in Home Cooking

Turn a pudding into a cake?

I think if you have a cake recipe that calls for water, or milk, you can substitute your pudding. Never tried it, but I bake a lot that's what I would do. If you try it, let us know if it turns out.

Is canned pumpkin pie filling cheating?

I have baked my own pumpkin to make pumpkin pie, and I have have used the can pumpkin and added my own spices. I really cannot tell the difference. As others have said, stay clear of the "canned pumpkin pie filling". Use can pumpkin and add your own spices to a nice pie crust and you will come out with good results. Also, if you go to a store that sells bulk spices you can just purchase a smaller quantity.

COOKIES - Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2013)

Yes on the nuts. I don't think they will melt in your mouth or be as decadent without chopped pecans. I guess you could put in walnuts or almonds if you like. One of my favorites too.

Dec 05, 2013
mara44 in Home Cooking

Old Cake Mix

I would use it. It should be fine, and should taste fine. I have used cake mixes that were older.

Nov 27, 2013
mara44 in General Topics

birthday brunch menu - feedback, please!

I would make some cheese Quesadillas for the kids, and a simple green salad, or veggies of some sort would go great too.

Nov 24, 2013
mara44 in Home Cooking

Is my canned pumpkin too old?

I second Ruth's response. If the can is in the original condition, and the can does not appear to be expanded at all it is fine.

Nov 24, 2013
mara44 in Home Cooking

Homemade Lasagne

Hi there,

I have a pan of lasagna in the freezer right now.

I always make two lasagnas and freeze one prior to cooking. I let mine thaw out in the fridge in the afternoon then pop in the oven and bake in the evening. Works for me. Comes out like I just made it. Bake at regular oven temperature and time for lasagna. Might need a bit longer if not completely defrosted.

Nov 22, 2013
mara44 in Home Cooking

Mashed Potatoes early the day before Thanksgiving?

Hi, Yes Springhaze 2, I plan on some appetizers like meatballs, cheese and crackers with Jalapeno Apricot Pepper Preserves, chips and veggies. Putting out puzzles, and games and playing soothing music. Some people just can't wait till the big meal because they want to rush through it to get to shopping or just can't relax and have fun. It can be stressful.

Nov 18, 2013
mara44 in Home Cooking

Mashed Potatoes early the day before Thanksgiving?

I am trying to avoid a group of family/women hovering over me on Thanksgiving day. Can I boil the potatoes drain, chill the night before Thanksgiving? Heat and mash up with butter and milk just prior to the dinner without creating a mess of starch? I am trying to do things early because I get overwhelmed with hungry folks waiting.

Nov 18, 2013
mara44 in Home Cooking

are ya thrifty, frugal, or almost CHEAP!?!

At Whole Foods I am looking at the bulk organic beans for $2.00 lb, and brown rice $1.69 lb, carrots, $1.00 lb. Yes, try and buy organic where ever I can, no GMO, and no pesticides. I have a small organic garden I am growing what I can. I am all for the cheap, and discount. Markdown is my favorite word. I shop the sale, and the season. Organic beef is now $8.00 lb and up. I stop in one local store to see if they have marked down the grass fed beef. Timing is everything. My husband says buy organic now, save on Dr. bills later. That is if you can get in to see a doctor in the future. Good luck on that.

Torrance/Lawndale Resturants suggestions

Help stop the madness of my family fighting over where to take my mom for her 80th Birthday lunch today. Looking for quite, budget, family friendly place to take everyone. Mexican or American please. Thanks guys.

Oct 27, 2013
mara44 in Los Angeles Area

Inexpensive Christmas dinner for 8, but NOT turkey

Lasagna and maybe a vegetarian manicotti too and a nice salad with crusty garlic bread. Ham would be good with al gratin potatoes too.

Dec 07, 2012
mara44 in Home Cooking

Apple pie with crumble topping ahead of time?

Sounds like Thanksgiving day will be busy for you. I would bake the pie tonight. I am going to make a apple-blackberry crumb topping pie tonight. I want to enjoy the little time I have tomorrow with coffee and a nice sweet bread I am baking tomorrow morning. Your pie should be good and cool to transport too.

Nov 21, 2012
mara44 in Home Cooking

Refrigerate Pumpkin Pie?

Hi,
I know I have read somewhere that Pumpkin Pie should be refrigerated as a food safety measure. It has eggs/milk. I would make room in the fridge to be on the safe side.

Nov 21, 2012
mara44 in General Topics

Pie crust troubleshooting

Sound like they will be just fine. I agree with the suggestion of whipped cream will hide any imperfections. Remember, never apologize. Say nothing, and no one will ever know. Except us Chowhounds.

Nov 21, 2012
mara44 in Home Cooking

Simple things you can't get right

Yes, you are correct! I was attempting dulce de leche for banoffee pie. Not even a hint of caramel was present in the opened cans after four hours of simmering in bath in hot water. It worked before in 3 hours. ????

Dec 01, 2011
mara44 in Home Cooking

Simple things you can't get right

Pan was full of water covering cans at all times. I still failed.

Dec 01, 2011
mara44 in Home Cooking

Simple things you can't get right

Fail. Submerged two cans of condensed milk in water on stove top this morning. Simmered for 4 hours (fell asleep). Opened cans to find original contents of condensed milk and, no carmelization at all. Still shaking my head. Have successfully accomplished this in past.

Dec 01, 2011
mara44 in Home Cooking

How to use leftover gravy?

Oh no! Don't throw away the drippings.They are the best part of the flavor of the turkey. Buy a turkey breast or dark meat thigh and make turkey tetrazzini, open face turkey sandwiches, turkey and noodle casserole,turkey meatballs and rice or noodles, cream of turkey and wild rice soup, turkey bits and gravy over mashed potatoes.. I make a brown rice casserole with turkey, or chicken, leftover gravy, carrots, onions, zucchini, green beans, and thin down with chicken or turkey stock.

Nov 29, 2011
mara44 in Home Cooking

Dutch Apple Pie

This one sounds yummy. I love dutch apple pie. It is a bit easier with the topping than a crust. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/dutch-ap...

Nov 22, 2011
mara44 in Home Cooking