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Labeling plastic containers for freezer storage

I have recently started using the Listo brand of grease pencils. They will write on plastic containers just out of the freezer as well as wet plastic containers. The writing stays on even through the dishwasher but easily rubs off with a paper napkin. These are not peel off grease pencils which usually broke for me. They are like automatic pencils. Ordered a box of 12 black and liked them so much that I later ordered a box of 12 multi color. Am finding other uses for them around the house as well. Refills are available as well but I think that I may already have a life time supply.

Mar 08, 2014
deekaa in Cookware

salted caramel is too hard!

Hope the new batch has/is going well. You might be able to salvage the old batch by gently microwaving, just enough to get a knife through to cut. I had a rock hard batch like this which I went ahead and wrapped individual pieces. Eaters were instructed to give each piece about 5 seconds in the microwave before unwrapping to make edible.

Dec 24, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

ISO relatively quick Christmas dessert that transports well

I cannot think of anything easier than the old standby, Pumpkin Pie Cake, though some/many might be quite finished with pumpkin flavors now and until next fall. (And then there is the cake mix issue in this recipe so this might not suite your group.) It can be done with yellow or spice cake mix and I do my own spice blend for the pumpkin custard filling instead. Can be baked ahead, served cold, warm, or room temp, with either ice cream or whipped cream.

Dec 23, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

Candy recipes wanted using sweetened, condensed milk?

Here is a caramel recipe that calls for condensed milk. I have made a similar version in the past and liked it very much. I am planning on making this one for New Years.

Dec 21, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

Suggestions/recipes using LOTS of bread?

Bread Salad inspired by winter ingredients. Here is one example of the possibilities.

Dec 19, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

hard to peel boiled eggs

Yes, steam them, as Sentimental described earlier. I stumbled on steaming eggs by accident. I was motivated by the ease of steaming but in time realized that peeling was almost always a breeze. I use an electric steamer which I just plug it in, set a timer and return to do the ice water plunge. I rarely have trouble peeling with the steaming method.

Dec 15, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

Advice wanted about my pie disaster

I have recently finally bought the ceramic pie weights which I use with parchment. They really do work much better than the beans or rice that I used to use.

Dec 09, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

Are you hungry after a bowl of oatmeal?

I have the same situation with oatmeal. I only recently discovered that if I stir in quite a lot of wheat germ, which adds fat and protein, that I can usually go past lunch before I get hungry. This is a savory dish for me, so maybe some butter with whatever 'milk' I am using, but no sweetening. Love it.

Oct 19, 2013
deekaa in General Topics

Coconut Frosting Recipe

I found this recipe years ago somewhere on-line. I have made it a few times and like it very much.

Mix together & refrigerate overnight;
1 cup sour cream
1 bag (10oz) sweetened flake coconut
1/2 cup sugar

The next day—
To finish frosting--
Whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream and fold into the sugar/coconut mixture from day before.

Frost the completely cooled cake with this. Best if the cake is left for 3 days in refrigerator to ‘ripen’.

Oct 15, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

I AM NEVER ATTEMPTING PIE CRUST AGAIN!!!!!! (unless you help me)

Enjoyed the videos. My favorite oil for the oil crust recipe is LouAna peanut oil. Makes the crust extra tender and gives a very slight nutty flavor.

Jul 06, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

Caramel Frosting? Sugar to Cream ratio to avoid sugar crystals?

(This recipe from Mark Ballard worked out great for me. I just used a stainless pot rather than skillet. Timing is important for the beating with mixer at the end. I beat till color was lightened and the frosting started to hold its shape. Then have to work fast to get cake frosted completely)

Caramel Icing

My grandmother passed this to Mother who passed it along to me.

3 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 c. canned milk
1/2 c. butter
1 T. white Karo syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

In an iron or Teflon skillet, brown ½ cup sugar over low to medium heat. When sugar liquefies and turns dark brown, pour boiling water into the pan and allow to boil until mixture is bubbly and is the consistency of a thin syrup (about 3 to 5 minutes). While this is taking place, combine the remaining 3 cups of sugar with other ingredients (except vanilla). Bring this mixture to a boil. Continue boiling while adding the sugar syrup mixture. Cook until mixture reaches the soft boil stage. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Beat mixture while it cools slightly to spreading consistency. Do not allow it to begin to harden in the pot before icing the cake.

Jul 02, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

My Fried Chicken Experiment: Crispy but Bland

How much salt did your flour mixture call for? For me, it often just boils down to not enough when I have the same issue. Here is a straight-forward recipe for an oven fried chicken that has hefty seasoning in the flour mixture ingredients but no buttermilk soak. I think it would work for a deep fried recipe as well.

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
10 chicken pieces
Place oil and butter in a shallow cooking pan and place in 375ºF oven to melt butter, set aside.
In a large paper sack, combine dry ingredients.
Roll the chicken pieces, 3 at a time, in butter and oil then drop into a sack and shake to cover.
Place on a plate until all pieces are coated.
Leave any excess butter and oil in pan.
Place chicken in the pan skin side down (or its just as good if you remove all the skin first).
Bake at 375ºF for 45 minutes.
Turn chicken pieces over and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until crust begins to bubble.

Feb 24, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

Sweet, airy, yeasty bread

Here is a link to a recipe that has a description which sounds similar to the bread that your friend's mother made. I think it sounds great and will probably try it this week.

Jan 05, 2013
deekaa in Home Cooking

Vegetarian slow cooker recipes

Thank you!! I'll probably get it going in my crock first thing in the morning. Will look forward to trying the others mentioned here too.

Dec 28, 2012
deekaa in Vegetarian & Vegan

Vegetarian slow cooker recipes

Hi cleo,
I would love to try your coconut carrot lentil soup. Sounds great. Would you share the recipe?

Dec 27, 2012
deekaa in Vegetarian & Vegan

My New Lodge CI vs Vintage Skillet

I really meant to add to my earlier post--that I have no experience with newer Lodge to compare, and I would really like to know how the older cast iron vs newer perform.

Anyone want to do this little test with their newer Lodge? Heat pan till a sprinkle of water dances and sizzles. Then add about 1 teaspoon oil and spread quickly with spatula. Break an egg (straight out of the fridge) cook and turn for an egg cooked about medium. A couple of my vintage pans will not stick the egg at all. For several of them, one has to carefully work a metal spatula all around under the egg to loosen before turning.

It would be really interesting to hear how various skillets might do with this and compare.

Dec 26, 2012
deekaa in Cookware

My New Lodge CI vs Vintage Skillet

I have had the chance in these last 2 months to clean and re-season 6 vintage skillets, all of various makes. Some of these skillets have definitely 'taken' the seasoning better than others, though my seasoning method was the same with all. I suppose that variations in manufacturing and also the history of use of each particular vintage skillet are some of the variables. All 6 of them are machined smooth on the cooking surface.

All that to say, my advice to you is that with vintage, you can never really know for sure how it will turn out until you do your work on each one and give it a try. We are learning what to look for when examining a skillet to buy (cracks which are sometimes hard to see, warping of cooking surface or bottom, rust or discoloration, etc.).

Vintage skillets can be found reasonably priced and the more collectible brands are not always the best to cook in. I have one Griswold which it is my least favorite and we hope to trade it in for something else. A large Wagner for which we paid $17, and even has some mild pitting on the cooking surface, is actually one of my favorites as it took the seasoning right off and we can fry an egg in it with no sticking in just a very small amount of fat.

I bought a no-name vintage skillet for my SIL and it cooked like a dream immediately after cleaning with Easy Off and one layer of seasoning at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Paid $10 for that one.

If you were able to find some very reasonable deals, and didn't mind the initial uncertainties of vintage CI, you well may find yourself a marvelous and special skillet . I personally love the charm and the idea of the history of a vintage skillet but that is just me.

Dec 26, 2012
deekaa in Cookware

2012 Holiday Cookies

Hi gw, I would love to know the origins of this recipe as well. I got it from a family friend about 50 years ago. She was a fantastic baker and made these and oodles of other recipes for a large get-together of friends and family, each Christmas. She was originally from Pennsylvania so I always wondered if the recipe had its roots with Mennonites or Amish but I do not know for sure. I do love a good mystery.

Dec 16, 2012
deekaa in Home Cooking

Best Pho in Orange County

Pho 79 near intersection of Hazard and Brookhurst. Intoxicatingly wonderful broth, not greasy, just fragrant and delicious. The place is always filled with locals as well. It is a little hard to see, tucked behind a strip mall and a liquor store. We have tried others in the area, but this one is our long-time favorite by far!

Dec 13, 2012
deekaa in Los Angeles Area

2012 Holiday Cookies

There is a recipe called German Twists, also a very old recipe, which calls for yeast, sour cream, and makes really special and unusual cookies. Search for it on AllRecipes. It is the only one by that name.

Dec 09, 2012
deekaa in Home Cooking

Your favorite no-brine recipe for roasted whole turkey

The last few years I have been really happy with a recipe from the Cotton Country Cookbook, which I may have learned of somewhere on these boards, but can’t remember.

Have been doing this recipe with fresh turkeys purchased at Costco near Thanksgiving time, some of which I have then frozen and later baked. Either way we always get juicy breast meat, flavorful, well seasoned, and best part-- nearly all of the prep is done 48 hours ahead.

In my version, a 20 lb turkey is liberally covered with a paste, of about – ¾ cup mustard powder, 1½ t black pepper, 1 ½ T vinegar, 1 ½ T Worchester sauce, 1 T Morton Kosher salt, ¼ to 1/3 cup EVOO stirred together to a thick paste. Adjust oil or even add a tiny bit of water to get a thick paste that will spread easily and stick well to the dry turkey skin, without sliding off. Place turkey in the roasting rack and pan to be used, thickly cover the entire turkey with the paste, wrap tightly with plastic and then foil. Store in fridge for 48 hours.

On roasting day, remove from fridge a few hours ahead to warm up. Discard plastic and foil. I put a few onion quarters in cavity, cover the breast with 5 slices of bacon, and drape with cotton flour sacking soaked liberally with EVOO. Tie the legs with twine if desired. Add about 2 cups of stock or water to roasting pan. Bake at 325 till tests done.

There is no basting and no need to remove the cloth until the turkey is out. Let rest as usual before slicing and the carver gets to nibble on crispy bacon. (Any actual flavor of mustard is rather delicate after roasting) Just watch to make sure roasting pan does not go dry and burn.

The drippings are good and not too salty to use, but since I make gravy ahead of time, I usually pour the drippings in with the carcass, cover with water, to make a huge vat of stock. This year I left the stock pot cooking all night, just barely below a simmer and it worked out great.

Nov 26, 2011
deekaa in Home Cooking

Your tried and true Cook's illustrated Best recipes.

Thanks so much for all the great insights above. I often buy CI to read, but have not really tried all that many of the recipes. I now have an on-line subscription and am looking forward to trying many of the suggested here

I did try the Classic Bread Pudding from the current issue yesterday. My husband, who really does not like bread pudding at all, called it "marvelous stuff'". I used homemade Challah and pretty much followed the recipe exactly, except did one half, and it really was wonderful, served slightly warm, as suggested. It was OK, chilled the next day, but not so great, a bit too firm, I think.

Mar 02, 2010
deekaa in Home Cooking

Julia Child's Beef

I came looking for help last evening after I spent all day doing Julia's BB. My rendition was really barely edible. I knew it had to be something that I did wrong and was so happy to find this discussion. I took much of the excellent advice above, and did it again today. I am so thrilled with the succulent, rich, beefy, first taste, of that which just now is cooling on my stove top, thanks to you all.

Here are my mistakes in the first batch which many of you pointed out above--I used precut prepackaged stew meat, very tasteless. Another mistake, wine that I used was a red blend, boxed wine, which included cab, and merlot. The wine taste in the first batch was like a slap in the face even after hours of oven braising. Also left out bacon all together as was not sure what to use.

Todays version, which I would call succulent comfort food at its best, thanks to what I learned here above. Meat was a "Ranchers Reserve" chuck roast, from my local Vons/Safeway store. Not sure what grade it would be, but there was definately fat, some of which I left in my chunks when cutting up for the BB. The meat flavor in todays dish is fabulous, rich beefy in a wonderful, old fashioned way, and the texture is perfectly tender and melts in the mouth. The wine I used this time was a French Pinot Noir from Burgundy. We did a taste comparison between yesterdays and todays wine used for the BB and there was a huge difference. The French Pinot Noir was (well, you will see I am no wine expert here) a much lighter tasting wine, not sure how else to say it. It enhanced the beef but did not overwhelm it. Wine was about $14 at Vons again. Another change was that I used salt pork as mentioned above, boiled and dried as in recipe. I did not have quite the 3 pounds of meat as recipe in Mastering calls for, so adjusted amounts of wine and broth to compensate, three hours, at 325 in enameled dutch oven, used a bit more flour as wanted the sauce a tiny bit thicker.

Well, there is my experience. If anyone new to this type of cooking as I am, wonders how much difference certain ingredient substitutions might make, in this case, they made a huge difference. I will definately make this again and often.

Thanks again Chow-people!

Feb 01, 2010
deekaa in Home Cooking