Ambimom's Profile

Title Last Reply

silicon rolling pin worth it?

I got a silicone rolling pin at TJ Maxx for $7. You still have to flour the silicone pin as you would any other. I have a stainless steel rolling pin which I also like.

Aug 26, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

toaster

The sad fact is that toasters don't last like they used to. I've had two Cuisinart toasters in the last 5 years. Before that, a Black & Decker (which lasted 7 years but made lousy toast); before that a Krups, and so on and so on. If I were you, I'd buy the toaster on sale at the moment at Bed Bath & Beyond or Walmart, or Target and keep your fingers crossed. There' s always the option of toasting your bread in a broiler, 3 or 4 minutes per side. It always works and you save on electricity.

Aug 18, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Seeking a Salad Spinner that Isn't Plastic

I actually own one but it was purchased about 30 years ago. I don't think they're made anymore. It is a wire mesh basket that encloses the greens. You have to pump it in the sink unless you want water all over the kitchen. I stopped using it, however as soon as the OXO was invented. Of course, there's the old standby of rinsing salad greens by spinning them round -n round in a clean cotton pillowcase.

Aug 05, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Need a work-around for the LC plastic knob

I went to Sears. Drawer pulls were on clearance sale. Got one for $1. Got a screw too. Not stainless steel, but bronze I think. Been in use for 3 years at 500 degrees plus. Easy, cheap fix.

Jun 07, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Casserole dishes on a budget

Here's what I do....freezer paper. Make your casseroles ahead of time, then portion them out onto freezer paper (food on shiny side) fold in package and label what's inside and the date on the outside of the portion package. Use large enough sheet of freezer paper so you don't need to use tape. Then load 5 or 6 portions into freezer bags. Then when ready, remove portions onto microwave safe plate and microwave. Voila. No need for lots of dishes.

May 23, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

cast iron pan...regular flat versus grille

I, too live in an apartment without outdoor options. Thanks to Mark Bittman, I realized that I can use my broiler for the same effect. He explains that a broiler is an upside-down grill. Duh! I have Lodge CI round flat griddle pan which goes under the broiler to grill meats, vegetables, even make toast. I also have both a Lodge CI grill pan (with ridges) and Le Creuset grill pan but both of them take so long to heat up, I find myself using the flat griddle pan almost every time.

May 13, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Time to replace ancient 26-inch wall oven :(

I had precisely the same problem last year when my oven died. A company that still manufactures a single wall oven that fits those openings is "Summit Appliances." http://www.summitappliance.com/. They do not sell to consumers but they will hook you up with someone in your area that does. The oven was around $500 and another $100 for installation.

May 01, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

little rubber things that came with my dutch oven...

You can purchase silicone "pot grabbers" that will sit on the edge of your pans, but at $4 apiece they're a bit pricey.

http://i.s.shopwiki.com/i/data/120x12...

Mar 25, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Where to find an unseasoned cast iron skillet?

This is exactly the same set of three that I bought at Boscov's for $9 (for all 3). Yes, they come unseasoned. These are the pans I use daily; and after 3 years, they're absolutely a pleasure. I also have several Lodge "pre-seasoned" and frankly, they aren't really seasoned, just not "naked." Boscov's no longer sells the set of 3 but I believe they have a set of 2 that are unseasoned and a fraction of the cost of the Bakertowne set.

Mar 06, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

I beg you, can we stop all this hand-wringing and snobbery about cast iron

You are exactly right! I'm reading the subsequent posts with a combination of hysterical laughter and horror. I cannot help speculating that all these CI "experts" don't ever actually cook a meal except on special occasions and never in their cast iron except for their one special signature dish.

I GIVE UP!

Mar 01, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

I beg you, can we stop all this hand-wringing and snobbery about cast iron

@Candy: I reiterate: I beg you, can we stop all this hand-wringing and snobbery about cast iron. I'm not dictating to you about what is correct. When asked, I've shared what works for me. Please accord me and others the same courtesy. BTW, I've used canola oil for six years and have not a hint of sticky residue.

Feb 24, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

I beg you, can we stop all this hand-wringing and snobbery about cast iron

sueatmo: THANKS! and amen!

Feb 24, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

I beg you, can we stop all this hand-wringing and snobbery about cast iron

In a word Mr. Taster, yes I have. When I got my first cast iron pan, I, too had sticky goo on them because I hadn't really understood how to maintain them. For a time I actually gave up in frustration, not really knowing what I was doing wrong, but then one day I needed a frying pan the size of my Lodge to make some sort of pancake thingy and I used it again. It did have stuff stick, but I cleaned the goo with plain, ordinary table salt and water. The pan was cleaned easily, I wiped it dry, wiped a teaspoon of oil on the surfaces, reheated it on the stove for a few minutes and put it away when it cooled.

I began cooking in that pan and I became a believer. The more I used it, the smoother and smoother and blacker and blacker the finish. I started buying other pieces; and I was hooked.

I did originally oil them after each wash and dry, but after a while I stopped doing that too. They all have a matte, black finish and those "nubs" in the original cast iron pans are virtually invisible now.

The non-stick properties are a chemical process that I don't really understand but suffice it to say that it has something to do with heat and oil reacting to each other.

They are heavy....very heavy...and most likely a lot heavier than those vintage pans everyone raves about, but they are every bit as non-stick as those TFal Teflon pans I gave away in order to build my cast iron collection.

I use cast iron every day for everything. I swear by it. The reason those pans you appreciated lasted 50 years is because cast iron is not as "precious fragile" as you may have been led to believe...

And when I say all seasoning works...I mean it. I found my method and you will find yours. I've never used lard in my life; I don't eat bacon; I use olive oil and canola oil so that's how I season. I own a plastic pot scraper I got as a free gift for attending a home cooking show; I own a box of salt; that's how I clean mine.

Feb 23, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

I beg you, can we stop all this hand-wringing and snobbery about cast iron

Look, I use cast iron almost exclusively....and my stuff is not vintage. I cook two to three meals a day in it for the last six years. I didn't inherit heirlooms or bid on Ebay; I bought mine piece by piece. I own LC, Tramontina, Lodge, and el cheapo-beepo from who knows where.

I won't discuss my seasoning routine or my cleaning routine because what I've learned is that there are as many different routines as there are pots and pans. They all work. Just find one that fits your cooking style. I found mine.

Suffice it to say....yes the modern stuff is HEAVY, probably much heavier than those Griswold's you inherited from your grandmother or great aunt Tilly. And yes, when new, the finish on the non-enamel cast iron pots and pans were a little rough at first. .

But here's what you don't know....the more those pans are used; the more they season, and guess what? Those rough surfaces smooth to a slippery deep black finish to which nothing sticks....and to which you can occasionally rinse with a little soap or in which you can cook a tomato or two. Last night I actually deglazed some chicken and onions with orange juice....and the pan was smooth enough to slide a fried egg this morning,

Cook, bake, roast, and fry. That's all you really need to know....and maybe don't ever put a pan away wet.

Feb 22, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Help : Off-line store for Villaware Waffle maker in NY

According to the reviews on Amazon, the manufacture of these waffle makers is very inconsistent. However Bed Bath and Beyond has the Villaware flip on its website for $79. You have to ask the store manager, because they do carry it. If it isn't in stock at any of the NY stores, they will order it for you and ship it to you directly.

Feb 14, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Anyone own a Danby appliance?

I've had a Danby portable ac for years. It is not the most powerful appliance, but it works as promised. The company stands by its products, which is rare these days. I needed a replacement gasket after 5 years and they replaced it without question.

Feb 12, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Cast-Iron Seasoning and Carcinogens

This reminds me of a study done in the 1960s. They strapped nickels, pennies, and quarters to the backs of mice.....guess what? The mice developed cancers. The study was presented as "money causes cancer."

Feb 07, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Should I return it?

@ThreeGigs/with all due respect, rust will not form around that sesame seed size piece of bare cast iron. Chances are that tiny little exposed piece will just become seasoned with regular cooking and seal naturally.

Feb 06, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Should I return it?

uh-oh, I'm gonna disagree with the others . Keep it. Why would that tiny little flaw make any difference? There's a reason that the pan was sold as a second. Chances are that's the reason. It's not going to make any difference in the quality or safety of the food you cook in it. It's not going to affect anything by aesthetics.

Saying that, I realize you are asking because that pan makes you uneasy. So return it if for no other reason than peace of mind.

Feb 06, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Can I grind whole bean coffee in the food processor?

It works better in a blender, a cup at a time....or yes, you can buy a coffee grinder which works a few beans at a time.....or bring it back to Costco and have them grind it....or if you're near an A&P, ask the store manager if you grind it in one of their machines....they'll probably say yes if you buy something too......We've all forgotten to grind the coffee; it's no big deal. Let me tell you about the time I bought the fish at dockside and forgot to ask them to remove the scales!

Feb 05, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Tramontina on sale at Tuesday Morning

Let me recommend Tramontina. I love the stuff. I own a couple of pieces and they're fabulous alternatives to All-Clad. However, this is not a sale. I own the 4 quart Prima saucepan with the helper handle (great pan!) which was bought for $58 at Walmart. The "sale" is merely the regular retail price.

Jan 21, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Cast Iron - Brown crusty circles left from cooking burgers

Yes kosher salt and oil should do it....but can invest in a pot scraper. The last time I was at Bed Bath & Beyond I saw that they sell them there. They're made of hard nylon and look like a guitar pick that has a glandular condition. I got mine as a free gift at a Pampered Chef demo about 20 years ago, but it shouldn't cost more than a few bucks. I also bought a cheap metal grill brush that I sometimes use. A couple of scrapes, rinse, dry and a bit of oil and you're in business.

Jan 18, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Lead in Slow Cooker Inserts?

A year ago, I purchased a ceramic baker that was manufactured in Italy. The very first time I baked something in it, the ceramic leached a white powder. I discovered that it was lead. Researching the whole incident, I also discovered that ceramics made or sold by American companies are prohibited from having lead content. Elsewhere in the world, this is not true.
As for using plastic liners, that seems counter-intuitive. Plastic poly-vinyl chloride is a helluva alternative that'll give you cancer instead of lead poisoning.

Jan 08, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

Cast Iron Seasoning Woes

This is me giving you a round of applause....Finally someone who knows what what. I am a relatively new convert to cast iron, only two years, but my pans are every bit as non-stick as my old Teflon was. I use them almost every day and those "rough" surfaces get smoother every day.

Jan 07, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

The ultimate way to season cast iron, per Cook's Illustrated

I don't think this argument is ever going to be settled. I've been a cast iron convert for a couple of years now. I've got some Lodge and I've got some real cheap 3 pans for $10 stuff. I use them just about every single day. All I care is that nothing sticks....and guess what? Nothing sticks to these pans. They are a pleasure. I use olive oil and canola oil for the most part. I cook with them; they're non-stick; that's all I care about.

A couple of years ago, Kimball demonstrated how to season a Lodge skillet in the Cook's Corner segment and guess what he used? Plain old vegetable oil.

Trust me, the more you actually cook, the better the seasoning.

Jan 03, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

How do I remove the residual glue from the sticker at the bottom of a Staub cocotte?

True, but why use chemical solvents when you don't have to?

Jan 01, 2011
Ambimom in Cookware

How do I remove the residual glue from the sticker at the bottom of a Staub cocotte?

Yup, that's all there is to it! I read this tip years ago in some newspaper and have used it ever since. It has worked time and time again. It's safe, environmentally friendly and non-toxic to pets and children. In a pinch, I've used vegetable oil too. The beauty of it, of course, is that any residue is completely gone with hot soapy water.

Dec 31, 2010
Ambimom in Cookware

How do I remove the residual glue from the sticker at the bottom of a Staub cocotte?

Either peanut butter or mayonnaise will remove any leftover adhesive. Works everytime. No chemicals, completely biodegradable.

Dec 30, 2010
Ambimom in Cookware

Microwave - Really THAT bad?!

A few years ago, someone came out with a study that said cooking hamburgers on a grill was carcinogenic. Microwaves do nothing more than move molecules. They're a major convenience for defrosting frozen meats, and warming up home-cooked leftovers. I don't know how I ever lived without one. What I CAN do without is those horrible frozen "non-food" meals comprised of chemical preservatives and over-processed food items which are designed to be cooked in microwave ovens.

Dec 21, 2010
Ambimom in Cookware

your best kitchen related purchase of 2010

Titan vegetable peeler, hands down, the best I've ever used.

Dec 21, 2010
Ambimom in Cookware