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Awwshucks's Profile

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Stringy avocadoes--what can we do?

If I remember correctly, it is the same material that makes up the seed of the fruit. I honestly do not recall what the cause is, but, yes, I have run into it. Sorry I could not have been more helpful!

Sep 03, 2014
Awwshucks in General Topics

Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash

I am replying to my own post! I recommend pressing out any excess water from the tofu by placing it between thick paper toweling and setting a plate over. When the water is extracted, brown the tofu in a little olive oil and then chop.
I also love to sprinkle each serving with toasted, salted sunflower seeds. So tasty! Top with some fresh parsley or cilantro.

Jun 01, 2014
Awwshucks in Recipes

What ratios do you use for your mashed potatoes?

I hand mash right in the pot after draining off water, but carry on with the food mill or ricer!
You can expect a stick of butter to about 5 lbs of spuds, then gradually add the milk (I use evap full calorie milk)~ about 1/2 can. You will know when you have reached the proper consistency by your eye and taste buds!
I do this with the heat on so that all milk and butter is warm as I continue mashing.
Season with salt, pepper, minced garlic from the jar (powdered is fine) and onion powder as well as dried basil or Italian herbs. You can always set some aside for the inlaws prior to seasoning!
Please just use your taste buds to tell you when you have reached Nirvana! You may want to let it stand a few min and taste again. Just cover to keep warm and transfer to a warmed bowl just before serving.
Caution~ I once tried to keep mine warm in a crock pot and it kept cooking them so that they turned into a gummy paste! It was horrible! Use only if it has a warming setting!

Dec 06, 2013
Awwshucks in Home Cooking

Butter versus Shortening

Try some of that bacon fat the next time you make popcorn (from scratch!) I put about 2 tsp. bacon grease in with the veg. oil. Pops that corn to such a yummy taste and texture!

Nov 15, 2013
Awwshucks in General Topics

Butter versus Shortening

1 cup Crisco
1/3 cup cold Butter
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 cup ice cold Water
3 Cups Unbleached Flour (preferably chilled)

Mix fats together until well blended; and then, mix in salt.
Add flour, mix well with pastry blender until about pea-size.
Add water, all at once. Use fingers to pull together into two balls, one a little larger than the other-The larger for the bottom crust. Don't over-handle and don't worry if sticky!
Cover with saran and chill 1/2 hour. Meanwhile make desired filling.
To roll, use a clean canvas fabric and sprinkle generously with flour. Roll bottom crust, turning and reflouring as you go to prevent sticking. Lay in pie pan and let rest into the pan. Trim with scissors or knife. Roll out top piece and fill pie; trim and flute.
I guarantee, you will get the best from both shortening and butter! So delicious!

Dehydrator ideas?

Please share how you do the oven method with us for the dog treats! I don't have a dehydrator (yet!) but I have a dog!

Oct 18, 2013
Awwshucks in Home Cooking

Peeling Onions by the bushel

An earlier poster said that when he made soup stock, he would strain it and feed the solids to his dogs. The stock included the remains of his onions and two of us stated he should research about dogs and onions.
Here is an article about foods we should not be feeding our dogs~ :~)

Sep 22, 2013
Awwshucks in Home Cooking

Peeling Onions by the bushel

My dilemma as well! I often have to work to prevent an avalanche from my freezer! It just isn't big enough, nor does it have many shelves!

Sep 22, 2013
Awwshucks in Home Cooking

Peeling Onions by the bushel

Never thought of saving the peels for stock! Thanks for the tip! I do agree with InspectorJon about the dogs and onions.
I learned a good tip from another chef: It was to leave the root end intact; peel back the skin and that bit of greenish flesh; make vertical slices going from the top to just before the root- Now turn the onion and chop horizontally and stop just ahead of the root end. You will find that stopping short of the roots will prevent the gases from the onion to burn your eyes!
I was amazed to find how well this works! If doing a lot of onions, I will also burn a candle nearby. That also helps!

Sep 22, 2013
Awwshucks in Home Cooking

Defrosting meat

Thanks for that tip! I will give it a try!

Jul 26, 2013
Awwshucks in General Topics

Defrosting meat

How do you go about thawing in your cast iron skillet? Does that cause the wings to 'cook' at all?

Jul 26, 2013
Awwshucks in General Topics

Defrosting meat

I try to keep thawing times shortened by making packages as thin as possible. For chicken, I put individual pieces in sandwich bags which then go into freezer bags and make sure they're in a single layer. I can grab as many portions as I need for a meal that way!
Ground meats go in quart-bags, about 1 lb each; squished to about 1" thick and excess air 'burped' out. These can be thawed quickly in the fridge or on the counter.
To thaw other cuts, I generally put the bags inside a pan of cold water and change it frequently. Whole chickens get similar treatment.
Sometimes I use the microwave, but I don't care for that so much as the meat might begin to cook around the edges and you have to put foil over those areas to prevent that. (I don't waste cooked areas, tho. I will trim them off and let my dog eat them!)

Jul 26, 2013
Awwshucks in General Topics

Any good cold pasta salad recipe?

Thanks! I'll have to give it a try next time!

Jul 18, 2013
Awwshucks in Home Cooking

Any good cold pasta salad recipe?

I don't know that your tip is stupid, but I am wondering why you would add the 1 cup of cooking water back in? Wouldn't that render the salad runny? I dress my salad and taste it after about 1/2 hour. If it seems dry or if the seasoning needs adjusting, I add a bit more dressing and that usually resolves it.

Any good cold pasta salad recipe?

Creamy Caesar/Italian Pasta Salad

1 (1lb) box farfalle (bow tie) pasta or rotini. (I prefer mini rainbow pasta)... Cooked al dente and rinsed.

Then mix together and add:

1 cup good creamy Caesar dressing with 1 cup homemade Italian dressing (recipe follows this one)

Add and toss:

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 med. Red Bell Pepper, diced

1 med Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, diced.

About 1/3 cup diced Sweet Onion, or if preferred, Red Onion or Scallions...include the green tops.

2 Tbs. Capers, rinsed well.

1/2 cup chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes (packed in oil, but drained. If using dry tomatoes, rehydrate by soaking in hot water. Squeeze off excess water.

Chop and brown in skillet, 1 Polish Kielbasa. Drain fat on paper towels and allow to cool before tossing with other salad ingredients.

Chill well before serving.

Homemade Italian Dressing: (This is the standard recipe which yeilds about 3/4 cup. You may wish to make more so that you have enough for the above recipe.)

Place in small mixing bowl:

1/4 cup Red or White Wine Vinegar

3 Tbs Water

1 tsp Kosher Salt

2 tsp Sugar

3/4 tsp Lemon Pepper

1/8 tsp finely ground Black Pepper

1 pinch Dried Parsley

1 pinch Dried Oregano

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp Onion Powder

2 tsp Powdered Fruit Pectin

Mix above ingredients thoroughly, then add 1/2 cup EVOO
and mix again. Pour into a carafe to store.

Jul 12, 2013
Awwshucks in Home Cooking

The Best Substitute for Beef Broth?

I keep a jar of each: chicken base, beef base and vegetable base on hand. They are wonderful when you need a broth or stock, but don't have the time or ingredients on hand.
They are better than bouillon and add very good flavor to various soups, stews, sauces and gravies.
The normal ratio is 1 tsp per cup water. Because they are flavored with sodium, I recommend that you taste before adding any additional salt.

May 24, 2013
Awwshucks in Features

En Papillote - why parchment paper?

Parchment! I do not want aluminum to leach into my food!

May 10, 2013
Awwshucks in Home Cooking


Ooh! That recipe from Nigella sounds very good! I was curious to know what cornichons were, but learnt that they are little sweet gherkin pickles! Thank you!

Apr 16, 2013
Awwshucks in General Topics


Thank you for your suggestions! I really like the idea of the egg salad with green olives an curry powder! Delicious!

Apr 16, 2013
Awwshucks in General Topics

i know you're not supposed to ________, but i do it any way.

I purchase those pink Brawny vegetable storage bags that help keep veggies fresh longer...And, yes, they really do work~ The package also says that you can wash and reuse, which I do. No problems that I know of regarding leaching toxins.

Mar 16, 2013
Awwshucks in General Topics

Kitchen Tool you had an 'a ha' moment with ......

Gads! I had no idea you can get one with interchangeable parts! How much was it, may I pry?

Oct 20, 2012
Awwshucks in Cookware

Kitchen Tool you had an 'a ha' moment with ......

I love to make my Italian salad dressing with it! It is the perfect tool to emulsify a dressing!

Oct 20, 2012
Awwshucks in Cookware

Kitchen Tool you had an 'a ha' moment with ......

Got my Cuisinart at JC Penney in the catalog department and one for a wedding gift! Very reasonable pricing! You can order online.

Oct 20, 2012
Awwshucks in Cookware

Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

I have a little beater that is a funnel-shaped coil... very spring-like. My mom always called it an egg beater and so do I. It works beautifully and I prefer it over a whisk or fork. I like to add about 1 Tbs milk or 1/2 and 1/2 per egg. Delicious!

Oct 19, 2012
Awwshucks in Features


My mother, when she was living, loved to go to church luncheons and "hen parties" where they served up some fancy and unusual things, such as finger sandwiches.
In her recipe archives I found these two recipes. What I am interested in knowing is are any of you familiar with either of these two recipes? Are they good tasting? (I've never tried them and am tempted to do so!) Do you have any suggestions for either of them? Your input is most welcome! Thank you!

Spread #1:
I (8 oz) pkg Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped Walnuts or Pecans
2 to 3 Tbs Milk or Cream
4 to 5 drops Tabasco Sauce
Pimiento-stuffed Olives (doesn't say what to do with them! I assume you spear with a cocktail pick as a garnish?
Thinly sliced White Bread, crusts trimmed off.

Combine all ingredients and stir in enough of the milk to make a spreading consistency. Spread on bread and top with another slice. Cut into 4 triangles or use cookie cutters.

Spread #2

1 (8oz) pkg Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup chopped Walnuts
1/2 cup Maraschino Cherries, drained well and chopped
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 Hard Cooked Eggs, chopped
1 Tbs. Pimiento, chopped
3 Tbs Salad Dressing (Does not say what kind! I am assuming Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise???)
2 Tbs chopped Sweet Pickles or Relish
1 tsp Prepared Mustard (again, does not specify as to type! Dijon? Yellow?)
1/4 tsp Onion Salt
Sliced Bread (Didn't specify what kind!?)

Mix everything and spread over bread. Makes 8 open-faced sandwiches. (Personally, I would prefer to make into finger sandwiches like the ones above!)

Sep 25, 2012
Awwshucks in General Topics

Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash

This was very good and I am not a vegetarian by any means! I did make a few small changes. I cut the squash into wedges, (about 1 inch thick) rubbed them down with canola oil and and baked at 400 until fork-tender. I was able to leave the skins on, doing this way!
I used green and red bell peppers and I also put in 4 whole dried Arbol chilies with them and removed them at the end as I prefer mild heat.
For protein, I added extra-firm tofu (of which I am not a real fan, but now have changed my mind!)
The tofu went in at the time that the squash should have. Since the squash was already cooked, I just added near the end and heated thru!
Thanks so much for sharing this delightful recipe with us!
One more thing I should mention is that I plan to make about half as much MORE sauce as I think that adding tofu created the need for a bit more sauce!

Sep 07, 2012
Awwshucks in Recipes

Can Ice Cream Taste Rich Without All the Fat?

The frozen banana idea sounds fantastic! I have some bananas already frozen- (which I had intended to save for making banana bread.) Instead, I think I will chop one up; toss it in the processor; add a little whipped cream and drizzle with a little bit of chocolate and pretend it's a sundae! (I'll bet my granddaughter will also enjoy this low-calorie treat!)

Jul 26, 2012
Awwshucks in Features

Onions and Tears

I light a candle and place it near my cutting board. The flame neutralizes the fumes from the onions. I always chill my onions, but they still give off fumes. The candle flame really works best for me!
I bought some worker's goggles at Lowe's a while back and they help, too. Never have seen "onion goggles"... yet!

Jul 20, 2012
Awwshucks in General Topics

Why Does Ketchup on a Hot Dog Piss People Off?

Oh, for crying out loud! I like ketchup and I'm going to put it on whatever I please! Mind your own business! Good grief!

Taming a Salsa That's Too Spicy

Be proactive when you make your salsa! Before you add the heat, divide the salsa into two bowls. Put the hot chilies in one and omit from the other. Problem solved!

Jun 24, 2012
Awwshucks in Features