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justlearning's Profile

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Starbuck's Verisimo coffee maker?

I recently got a Keurig Vue, and have been very happy with it. I've been through several of these types of machines (Keurig, Tassimo Brewbot, can't remember the one before!!!). The Vue is a very good machine. I need STRONG coffee, and it does a great job. It still doesn't get hot enough to match the quality of a French press, but they're getting closer. As far as specialty drinks in these machines, I've never had good luck. The Tassimo latte was putrid IMO, and the Vue doesn't do much better. I stay away from those kind of drinks in these machines. It does do very well with tea and hot chocolate, as well as iced coffees.

I still default to my French press. These machines just can't stand up to it yet. Good luck deciding!

Oct 02, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

bakers - red star platinum yeast?

Hi all!

Has anybody tried the Red Star Platinum Yeast? http://www.redstaryeast.com/platinum I saw it on the shelf at my grocery store - FOUR times the price of a regular 3 pack strip.

Just wondering what the big deal is with this yeast.

Oct 02, 2012
justlearning in Home Cooking

ugh...dumb question about pans and induction stoves

Thanks for the clarification. Your first sentence was more helpful than anything I found doing specific searches.

Aug 19, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

ugh...dumb question about pans and induction stoves

Thanks! I moved into this house recently and the range/stovetop were here, so I didn't buy it, and don't really know anything about it. Well, now I do, thanks. It's NOT an induction stovetop - thanks for the clarification. When I was looking around I saw lots of pictures, but nothing more specific, and from pics mine doesn't look much different.

When this one dies I want a gas top, I felt a lot more confident cooking with gas than with this one - electric!!! It does look like that pan will be fine on this stove though. :)

Aug 19, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

ugh...dumb question about pans and induction stoves

I bought this pan: http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/2... It's the Cuisinart Chef's Classic 3 qt saucepan (pour spout kind) if you don't want to go through the link.

It says it's good to use with electric, gas, glass ceramic, halogen cooktops. I have an induction stovetop - at least I guess I do, it's the flat glass top with the heating element underneath. Does that mean it won't work, or is that what they mean by "electric"?

Aug 19, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

playing with my new pressure canner

YUM! :)

Jun 22, 2012
justlearning in Home Cooking

playing with my new pressure canner

haha No worries! I got the Presto 23 qt - here: http://www.amazon.com/Presto-01781-23... It's super easy so far, I've had no issues with it. I hear this is a good price for it, as it's marked down right now I guess? That's why I got it now - I was waiting until a week before tomato time, but decided what the heck, if it's on sale and I can figure out other things to do with it, might as well.

Jun 22, 2012
justlearning in Home Cooking

playing with my new pressure canner

I got a whole chicken - and fryed it up a bit in the skillet, then pressure cooked it.

It was so moist and full of flavor.

Then I used the carcass and left it overnight in the crock pot on low with some veggies to make stock.

And canned the stock!

Holy efficiency! I love it! Any other ideas for this amazing new piece of magic!? I can't wait until my garden is ready, I'm going to can, can, can. :)

Jun 22, 2012
justlearning in Home Cooking

Greek in Columbus Ohio

Firdous at the North Market

Mar 16, 2012
justlearning in Great Lakes

My frying pan does not have a flat bottom

One of my favorite days was when I finally replaced my warped Revere Ware skillets with AC SS. I was so excited to throw those crappy things in the trash! It drove me crazy trying to cook when it wasn't level. Save up your pennies (many pennies...) and get a good flat skillet. It really does make life better. Until then, cope as best you can!

Mar 14, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

crock pot

I'd call what mine does on high as simmering.

My understanding is that there's a lot of variation with crock pots though, especially cheap ones with the simple off/low/high settings.

Mar 14, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

Home made ice cream -- what am I doing wrong?

I use the KA mixer attachment/bowl for ice cream, and the vanilla recipe that came in the book - it's always perfect, never grainy, always creamy. I use heavy cream, no milk, and straight sugar.

Mar 14, 2012
justlearning in Home Cooking

What size round Le Creuset for whole chicken?

I also use the 7.25 LC round, and for this very thing - chicken en cocotte! Love it. I love this size, I can double many recipes and it still all fits. Enjoy your wonderful new purchase! :)

Mar 13, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

My understanding is the lift version is more heavy duty and is at least 1 qt larger. I have a little 5 qt one, the head moves up and down.

If you are looking, you can get a heck of a deal - I saw this posted on a blog recently...can we post blog posts? If not, sorry! This is for the 6qt, after rebates it ends up being $196! http://hip2save.com/2012/03/12/remind...

Mar 13, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

Recommend me a good pasta strainer pot please?

I have this pot: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

It has the pasta insert and a steamer insert. It's pretty heavy duty. Solid lid, which I don't like, but otherwise it's been great for me. I needed a cheaper version too, and this is what I went with.

Mar 13, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

So WHY were we forced to sit at the table till the food was gone??

I don't know, but it caused damage to me! It also caused me to want to be a better cook. The crap I was forced to choke down was often only a reality with a huge pile of ketchup. lol

I think it probably is a control thing, a "I'm the parent and I said so" thing, you know?

Mar 12, 2012
justlearning in Not About Food

How to cook in cast iron - especially enamled cast iron

There are a few things I don't cook in LC ECI - potatoes is one, eggs is the other. I've also learned to use just a slight bit of EVOO or butter, NEVER veg oil. It leaves a nasty, ridiculously hard to remove film on the pan. Otherwise, I love this type of skillet. I've been using the French Oven more of late, but I come back to it once in a while. I think the skillets do a great job with meats and most other veggies. Good luck learning to use it. It's all about making it fit with how YOU cook. :)

Mar 08, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

Are these good knife choices?

Good point. :) He agrees. lol

Mar 08, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

Are these good knife choices?

I have a block set of Chefmate knives.

As far as the surface, they've come in contact with various boards over the years, mostly bamboo, but glass, sometimes plastic. They've also been run through the dishwasher, which has started to deteriorate the handles. Live and learn.

Mar 07, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

Are these good knife choices?

Good question. Here's a linky: http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classic...

I don't know why he wants it. He won't use the chef's knife. He's not the main cook, so maybe I'll veto him. haha He's essentially using it as a chef's knife, just a smaller, lighter one that's easier (in his opinion) to handle it.

Mar 07, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

Good Ice Cream Machines?

I use this as well. It's super simple and it doesn't take up much room. Once I realized that it's actually cheaper to make my own, and it tastes about 50X better, I was sold.

Mar 07, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

Are these good knife choices?

I'm slooooooooowly upgrading my kitchen, and I've finally gotten to knives. I'm using this absolutely horrid set I got 10 years ago that just will not hold an edge anymore. So anyway, I'm trying to avoid buying a block set, I realized I don't use much of what I have anyway, so why waste the money?

What I think I need is this:

A pairing knife - 3.5"
A chef's (also called cook's?) knife - 8"
A sandwich knife - 6"
A santoku knife - 7"

Right now I rely very heavily on my chef's knife, and that's about it. I've been reading a lot about the santoku's though, and think that would be very helpful to me. My husband wants the others, as I rarely use a pairing/sandwich knife.

I have an electric bread knife that works great for us, so I'm not worried about missing that, and I'll also pick up a pair of shears.

Is there a better choice here, or should I re-evaluate my selections/change sizes, etc? I'm looking at Wusthof Classics for all of these...

Thanks.

Mar 07, 2012
justlearning in Cookware

am I a SNOB?

That's awesome!!! :)

Mar 20, 2011
justlearning in General Topics

am I a SNOB?

Oh I didn't make any kind of comment at all to her about it, I just looked at it and said it was interesting. ;) I just wondered if it really was OK to use and I'm just not because of some crazy idea I have that using cloves is better when in reality there isn't much difference. You know?

Mar 18, 2011
justlearning in General Topics

Just how important is the quality of wine when a recipe calls for wine?

I actually don't like very many kinds of wine, but I LOVE it when it's cooked into things. So I don't go with that rule either, the "don't cook with anything you won't drink."

I've only ever used cheap wine, and it seems to work. I look for those little 4-packs to go on sale so I can get them for cooking. They are putrid to drink but they make great dinners! :)

Mar 18, 2011
justlearning in Home Cooking

am I a SNOB?

I was talking to a friend the other day about general cooking things, and she showed me her jar of garlic. JAR of garlic? I guess I must have known that garlic came jarred, I must have seen it at the store, but it didn't really register. This idea sort of broke my mind. I have never even considered it, it seems "fake." Same with butter - margarine is NOT butter and I won't cook with it.

So, first, am I a snob?

If so, is the jarred garlic just as good? Is bottled lemon juice just as good? Is margarine just as good? Can I sub milk for cream? Which things can you cut corners on and not sacrifice taste?

Mar 18, 2011
justlearning in General Topics

what saucepans would you buy?

Does anybody have any opinion on Cuisenart? They seem to have a lot of reasonably priced stuff on Amazon.

Jan 28, 2011
justlearning in Cookware

what saucepans would you buy?

I'm not sure! I had no idea there were so many distinctions! Thanks for all of the info.

Jan 26, 2011
justlearning in Cookware

what saucepans would you buy?

Thanks for the links. I didn't realize the handles would get so hot. The ones I have right now get just as hot as the pan. I'm not sure what's going on, they have plastic coating, but they are terrible. A little bit of heat is OK, I just don't want to be able to cook on the surface of the handle too.

Jan 25, 2011
justlearning in Cookware

what saucepans would you buy?

I'm not really sure about how many. I kind of want to get a plan in place and start buying them as I am able over the next few months - a year or so. I am willing to pay for good cookware, I know that it can sometimes be expensive. So far I have converted my skillets over to 2 All Clad stainless and a LC enameled cast iron. Saucepans are next on my list.

I used to have a really big pan with a lid that I could make big meals in when I needed - it had the helper handle. The problem was that it was non-stick, and I really dislike that. It fell apart and that was the end of it. I'm thinking that may be a saucepan by definition, not a skillet, but I'm pretty new at this so I sometimes don't know what I'm looking at.

Jan 25, 2011
justlearning in Cookware